Golden Knights favoured in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

HC at Noon ranks the best defencemen on each Stanley Cup finalist team, and with no superstar on either side, wonder how they'll measure up against each other heading into the big dance.

The Vegas Golden Knights are set to take on the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night as -135 favourites on the updated 2018 Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Vegas clinched a berth in the final in decisive fashion, knocking off the Winnipeg Jets in five games in the Western Conference final, capped by last Sunday’s narrow 2-1 win in Winnipeg as a +149 underdog. The Golden Knights take a 12-3 record in these playoffs into Monday’s Capitals versus Golden Knights betting matchup at T-Mobile Arena.

Pegged as +122 underdogs ahead of their series with the Jets, the Golden Knights dropped a 4-2 decision as +130 road underdogs in Game 1 before limiting Winnipeg’s vaunted offence to just six total goals in four straight wins that clinched their berth in the Stanley Cup Final.

Strong defence, backed by the outstanding play of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, has been the hallmark of the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run. Vegas has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 10 of its 15 playoff games to date, including four shutout performances by Fleury. That has produced a steady run for the UNDER in totals betting, which has gone 5-2-1 in the club’s past eight outings.

The Golden Knights have also dominated on home ice since mid-March, going 11-2-0 in their past 13 games at T-Mobile Arena, including a 6-1 post-season record, all as betting chalk. However, Vegas will have its hands full against a road warrior Washington Capitals squad that travels to the desert as a +125 underdog wager on the NHL odds for Monday night’s contest.

The Capitals have changed a woefully familiar narrative of past playoff failures this spring, with character victories in their previous series matchups against Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay.

Washington has been particularly dominant on the road, going 8-2 so far during these playoffs, and closed out its series against the Lightning with consecutive shutouts, including a 4-0 win in Game 7 as a +121 road underdog. But the Capitals trail as +115 underdogs on the NHL futures in their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since 1998.

The Capitals also came up short in two meetings with Vegas this season. The Golden Knights posted a 3-0 win as -127 home chalk on Dec. 23, and followed up with a 4-3 victory in Washington as +102 underdogs on Feb. 4.

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