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Golden Knights favored over Panthers in Stanley Cup Final

The Golden Knights are slight favorites to win the Stanley Cup over the Florida Panthers.

The Knights, who whipped the Stars 6-0 on Monday in Game 6 to claim their second Western Conference title in six years, are -128 favorites at Circa Sports to win their Stanley Cup Final series over the Panthers, who swept the Hurricanes to win the East.

“I think the number is slightly lower than that, but that’s given our location and baked in Stanley Cup liability that accrues itself over the course of the year,” Circa sportsbook manager Jeff Davis said. “My true price in this series is Vegas -108. To me, pretty much every game is a pick’em and then you bake in the home ice.

“Vegas is favored because they have the extra game at home. These two teams are very, very close in terms of rating. Maybe Vegas is a touch better, but not by all that much. I kind of think it’s going to be a long series.”

The Knights are -130 favorites over the Panthers (+119) in Game 1 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena, and the total is 5½.

The Knights are -140 series favorites at Station Casinos (Florida is +120) after the line opened at -135.

“We quickly went up to 140 after the first couple of bets we took were on the Knights,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “They were telling us right away they thought that number was too low.

“They were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference almost the entire season, and we know there is a local bias toward the Knights. Clearly we’re Vegas fans on the fan side of it. But on the business side, it’s not going to surprise me if we’re Panthers fans at least for the first two games at home big time. Not only on the side but the puck line as well.”

The Knights are +208 on the -1½ puck line in Game 1.

Local books are on the hook for a large loss if the Knights win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title.

“Winning the West was actually good for us,” Davis said. “But we’re a pretty decent-sized loser to Vegas to win the Cup.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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Las Vegas handicapper Bruce Marshall is an analyst at VegasInsider.com. Each week, he provides the Review-Journal with NFL tech notes and trends.