The Vegas Golden Knights await their second round opponent in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Photo by @ProHockeyTalk (Twitter)
- The Vegas Golden Knights are onto the second round of the playoffs after being the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round
- The Knights are favored to win the Stanley Cup; who else might be good to lay a wager on?
- See how the odds have changed since the start of the playoffs and whether you can get better value than wagering on Vegas
The Vegas Golden Knights showed why they were the #1 seed in the Western Conference playoff picture by dispatching an overmatched Chicago Blackhawks squad in five games so they’re the first team off to the second round of the NHL playoffs.
The Knights have seen their Stanley Cup odds drop to +320 on average, which leads the pack with their dizzying display of skill and grittiness. At DraftKings, however, you can recoup a little bit of value on them with their odds set at +360.
Is Vegas the best bet to lift Lord Stanley, or is there another squad you should be backing as teams start to get close to joining them in the second round?
Odds to Win 2020 Stanley Cup
|Team||Odds to Win at DraftKings|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+360|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+550|
|New York Islanders||+1100|
|St. Louis Blues||+1200|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+20000|
Odds taken August 19th
The Golden Knights will face off against the lowest remaining seed in the Western Conference, which to this point would be the winner of the defending champion St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks series. Number two seeded Colorado and #3 seed Dallas are both up in their respective series’ against Arizona and Calgary.
2020 US Open Odds Tracker
Golden Knights Lighting the Lamp
It should come as no surprise that the Vegas Golden Knights are scoring at will in the postseason with their firepower upfront. They’re loaded with forwards like Mark Stone and Reilly Smith who are tied for the team lead with eight points each. They can roll multiple lines that will attack as well, with William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault able to take over a game, not to mention Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny who are due for a breakout.
Mark Stone’s goal that made it 2-2 early in the 2nd pic.twitter.com/BHejyiO1n6
— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) August 19, 2020
Of the remaining teams in the playoffs, they are tops in goals per game, averaging a gaudy 3.75 per contest (they have at least four goals in six of eight games).
Could Goaltending Hold the Golden Knights Back?
In the regular season, the Knights were a slightly better than average team in goals against, ranking 13th. In the postseason they’re still in the middle of the pack, where they’re ninth of teams that are still competing. In six of their eight postseason contests, they’ve given up at least three goals with Robin Lehner barely above .900 in save percentage (.904) in six games and Marc-Andre Fleury sporting a .886 clip in his two contests.
Matthew Highmore with the shot, Lehner with the nontraditional header save attempt pic.twitter.com/RB7hvuJBun
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) August 16, 2020
Vegas’ .896 team save percentage is worst among teams that are still remaining in the postseason which is definitely a huge red flag and cause for concern. They’re able to score at will but if they face a tough defensive-minded club then it’ll be tougher to outscore the problems in their own crease.
The Case for Colorado
Both the Knights and Avalanche are built similarly with high octane offenses (top two in playoff scoring), but the huge difference is goaltending. The Avs duo in the crease of Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz have combined for a .929 save percentage and they’re third best in goals allowed per game. Colorado can roll with Vegas offensively and they have better netminding and team defense so go with the extra juice.
Pick: Colorado Avalanche to win Stanley Cup (+425)
Michael “Hound Dog” Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statisitician for the Jay and Dan Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he’s been featured on Sportscentre, That’s Hockey, That’s Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.