Fri 25/05/2018 - 12:45 EDT

2018 Stanley Cup Finals Picks: Vegas Will Make History

2018 Stanley Cup Finals Picks: Vegas Will Make History

Will The Golden Knights Capitalize?

My Team's Next MatchVegas Golden Knights

The Stanley Cup final hasn't been this wide open in years. Not since the 1996 matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers has there been two teams in the Stanley Cup final that are winless in Stanley Cup final play.

The Capitals were swept by the Red Wings in their only previous Cup final in the spring of 1998. The Vegas Golden Knights are seeking to become the only expansion team in any of the major North Amercian sports to win a championship in their first season of existence.

Bettors tend to like be able to access track records when assessing their wagering options, but there just aren't any here. Only the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues previously reached the final in their first season as an expansion franchise and they were swept aside by the Montreal Canadiens. But the Canadiens owned a legacy of Stanley Cup success - they'd won seven titles in 11 seasons prior to that 1968 Cup final series. The Capitals possess no such history. 

maf

The Blues and Golden Knights share another common trait - both were backstopped by veteran netminders with lengthy Stanley Cup final resumes. Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury is playing in his fourth Stanley Cup final. Glenn Hall, goalie for the 1967-68 Blues, was appearing in his fourth Stanley Cup final. Down 3-2 in the East final, Caps goalie Braden Holtby posted back-to-back shutouts in Games 6 and 7, the first goalie to do that in a conference final since Detroit's Dominik Hasek in 2002.

Teams seeking to win their first Stanley Cup are 3-7 in the last 10 appearances. The last team to be a first-time Cup winner was the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings. The last team to win the Cup in their first Cup final appearance was the 2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning. While no NHL team has ever won the Cup in their first season, both the 1925-26 Montreal Maroons and 1927-28 New York Rangers were Stanley Cup champions in their second NHL seasons.

Vegas Golden Knights vs Washington Capitals Series Prices

Surprisingly, the oddsmakers are leaning toward history being made. Bovada has established the Golden Knights as the -135 favorites to set a precedent and win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals are given odds of +115 to win their first Stanley Cup title. The Eastern Conference champions have won the last two Stanley Cups, ending a four-year reign of dominance by Western Conference clubs. But Western Conference champs appearing in their first Stanley Cup final in franchise history have lost three straight. 

alex

The Capitals took out the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, but just two of the last eight teams to eliminate the reigning champs have gone on to win it all. The Washington Capitals finally got over the hump by moving away from their reliance on captain and seven-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner Alexander Ovechkin to light up the scoreboard. Ovechkin still led the NHL with 49 goals this season, but it was a commitment to an overall team defensive scheme that enabled the Capitals to reach the final.

It's all about the collective for the Golden Knights. While their top forward line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith combined for 92 goals and 213 points, Vegas coach Gerard Gallant isn't afraid to put any of his players on the ice to defend a lead in the game's dying moments, and in fact it was fourth-line forward Ryan Reaves who tallied the goal that put them in the Cup final. 

Overall, NHL teams making their first Stanley Cup final appearance like the Golden Knights are 10-17. Teams making their second Cup final appearance after losing their first like the Capitals are 8-4. But there's just something magical going on in Vegas. The Capitals have the best player in Ovechkin, but the Golden Knights look to be the deeper team.

Category : Betting Picks

Tag : alexander ovechkin , braden holtby , Jonathan Marchessault. , marc-andre fleury , NHL , Reilly Smith , stanley cup , William Karlsson

More articles...
Betting Picks - 12/05/22
NBA Playoffs 2022: Golden State Warriors favorites to beat Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 

The NBA playoffs for 2022 are really heating up now as we enter an exciting Game 6 between Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. Let's have a look at the NBA betting picks. The Warriors currently lead the series 3-2 but were absolutely dominated in Game 5 when they had the chance to seal […]

Betting Picks - 12/05/22
Tennis: French Open 2022 - Rafael Nadal favorite once again 

The second tennis Grand Slam of the year is upon us as the top players in the world head to Roland Garros for the 2022 French Open for the 126th edition of the tournament. 128 players will compete for the men's singles title and a prize of $1.73 million as they look to prove they're […]

Betting Picks - 12/05/22
Golf: PGA Championship 2022 - Scottie Scheffler favorite to win title 

The second major golf tournament of the PGA calendar is upon us next week as the PGA Championship 2022 takes place between May 19 and May 22nd. The best golfers in the world will meet up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Southern Hills Country Club to go head-to-head on a 71 par course to see […]

Betting Picks - 06/05/22
NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat favs to beat Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 

The NBA playoffs are well underway and the Eastern conference semi-finals are entering the business end of the series. In one of the better matchups we’ve seen the Miami Heat go head-to-head with the Philadelphia 76ers in game 3 tonight in Philadelphia, with the Heat leading the series 2-0 after the first two games. But […]