The Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers are set to face off in the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
VGK knocked off the Winnipeg Jets in five games to advance in the first round. Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone each had five goals and eight games for the No. 1 team in the Pacific Division during the regular season. The Knights were +1800 to take home the Cup in preseason trading, but that’s down to +900 as a team that was expected to fall back a bit this season continues to charge at the top of the Western Conference.
Edmonton finished second in the Pacific, and beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 in the first round. While Connor McDavid remains the best player in the world, it was Leon Draisaitl that led EDM in the opening series with seven goals and 11 points and a +4. As per usual with the Oilers, it is defense and goalkeeping that will be the difference. They conceded at least three goals in five of six games, and shutting the door on Vegas’s offense will be the key to avoiding the upset.
2023 NHL Playoffs: Vegas vs. Edmonton odds
Vegas Golden Knights: +130
Edmonton Oilers: -150
With players like Draisaitl and McDavid, there might not be a more fun team for the casual fan to watch in the NHL than Edmonton. But VGK’s Laurent Brossoit (.915 save percentage vs. Winnipeg) has been an answer so far, the question is can he keep it going. The journeyman of 117 regular season games over nine NHL seasons has been fantastic in net for a team with plenty of talent otherwise to advance.
But he’s running into one of the great scoring machines in hockey history in this series, and the odds reflect a belief he might regress to the mean under playoff pressure. But betting against VGK, especially when they have home ice, might be a fools errand.
Edmonton might advance to their first back-to-back Western Conference Final since 1992, but the value here is on the underdog at a decent price.