Panthers vs. Golden Knights picks, NHL odds, Game 5 predictions from hockey model

The Florida Panthers hope to begin their second major series comeback this postseason when they visit the Vegas Golden Knights for Game 5 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday. After edging Pittsburgh and Buffalo by one point for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, Florida trailed Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston 3-1 in their first-round matchup before rallying to shock the hockey world. The Panthers find themselves in an identical situation against Vegas, which looks to avoid joining the 1942 Detroit Red Wings as the only teams to squander a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

Opening faceoff at T-Mobile Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET. Vegas is the -190 favorite (risk $190 to win $100) in the latest Golden Knights vs. Panthers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total goals scored is 5.5. Before making any Panthers vs. Golden Knights picks, be sure to check out the NHL predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends when making NHL picks. The model seeks the best values on the money line, puck line and total.

Now, the model has its sights on Golden Knights vs. Panthers and just locked in its picks and Stanley Cup Final predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NHL odds from Caesars Sportsbook and trends for Panthers vs. Golden Knights:

Golden Knights vs. Panthers money line: Vegas -190, Florida +158
Golden Knights vs. Panthers over/under: 5.5 goals
Golden Knights vs. Panthers puck line: Vegas -1.5 (+143)
VGK: The Golden Knights are 15-0 this postseason when scoring at least three goals
FLA: The Panthers are 7-8 all-time when facing elimination in the playoffs
Golden Knights vs. Panthers picks: See picks at SportsLine
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Why the Golden Knights can win
Vegas has been an offensive juggernaut of late as it has outscored its opponents 23-9 over its last five games. The team has produced at least three goals in each of its 15 wins thus far this postseason, and is 35-0 when doing so in the playoffs since losing 5-4 in overtime to San Jose in Game 7 of its first-round series in 2019. Converting power-play opportunities also has been key for the Golden Knights as they are 9-1 when cashing in with the man advantage this postseason.

Jack Eichel, who did not appear in the playoffs in his first seven NHL seasons, is fourth in the league with 23 points. The 26-year-old center has gone 11 games without a goal but has notched five assists over the first four contests of this series. Jonathan Marchessault shares the postseason lead with 24 points and is riding a nine-game streak during which he has collected eight goals and six assists. The 32-year-old right wing has netted four tallies and set up three others in the Stanley Cup Final. See which team to pick here.

Why the Panthers can win
Florida should not be lacking confidence after the feat it pulled off against the mighty Bruins in the first round. Keeping Vegas’ offense at bay will be key as the Golden Knights are 15-0 this postseason when scoring three or more goals and 0-6 when recording fewer than three. The Panthers also have excelled in tight playoff contests, going 10-2 in one-goal games – including 7-0 in overtime.

Having Matthew Tkachuk, who is dealing with an undisclosed injury, in the lineup is imperative as the 25-year-old left wing is tied for the postseason lead with 24 points and shares third place with 11 goals. Florida also needs its other top offensive players to get going in order to become the fifth team in history to win multiple series in one postseason when facing multi-game deficits. Sam Reinhart has yet to land on the scoresheet in the Stanley Cup Final. Carter Verhaeghe and Aleksander Barkov (one goal, one assist apiece) have been blanked in three of the four games and Sam Bennett has notched only two assists. See which team to pick here.

How to make Golden Knights vs. Panthers picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, as the simulations have the teams combining for 6.2 goals. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the model’s pick at SportsLine.

Vicente Luque bests Rafael dos Anjos in first fight since brain bleed

Vicente Luque did not live up to his reputation as a ruthless finisher, but he showcased important new wrinkles to his game and overcame a year’s worth of adversity. A well-rounded Luque stifled the gameplan of Rafael dos Anjos to earn a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Saturday’s combatants had a lot to fight for. Luque was sidelined for a year after suffering a brain bleed in his first career knockout loss against Geoff Neal. Dos Anjos, a former lightweight champion, recently made the move to welterweight permanent in pursuit of being world champ again.

All respect to these two after going all 5 rounds 👏 #UFCVegas78

— UFC (@ufc) August 13, 2023
Luque has finished 13 opponents in 14 UFC fights — the third highest finish per win percentage in UFC history — but stopping one of UFC’s most experienced and battle-tested veterans is a tough ask. Dos Anjos’ gameplan was rather straight forward: punch his way inside and take down the younger, harder striker.

Luque not only showed significant improvements in his takedown defense but he also displayed poise and maturity in scoring his own takedowns. RDA finally opened up in Round 5 with his striking and was doing rather well, but it was too little too late. Luque scored a career-best five takedowns.

“It’s a miracle I’m here. I’ve never feared anything but I feared never coming back in here,” Luque said in his post-fight interview. “In the first round, I was afraid of being hit. It’s been a year. I didn’t know how I’d react.”

Luque bounced back from the first consecutive losses of a professional career boasting more than 30 fights. Dos Anjos is 1-1 in his last two as he closes in on 50 pro bouts at 38 years old.

Luque called for an opponent ranked inside the UFC’s official top five as he makes a run towards UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards.