Handicapper Dana Lane predicted the Golden Knights would win the Stanley Cup after they eliminated the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference semifinals.
After their 6-4 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday at T-Mobile Arena, Lane has absolutely no doubt that the Knights will hoist hockey’s holy grail.
“Vegas is going to win the Stanley Cup. That’s a fact,” Lane said. “And it’s unbelievable to say that.”
But Lane, who picked the Knights to win Game 1 to run his record to 86-59-4 (59.3 percent) against the spread on his NHL picks this season in the Review-Journal, doesn’t expect a sweep of Washington.
Sports betting is a numbers game, and Lane (@DanaLaneSports) said the price is right to play the Capitals in Game 2 on Wednesday at T-Mobile.
Capitals (plus 145) over Golden Knights, Game 2
The Knights are a consensus minus 155 favorite in Game 2 at Las Vegas sports books, and the line is as high as minus 165. Washington is available at up to plus 145.
“In good conscience, you can’t lay (minus) 155. My threshold is (minus) 150. You have to take the plus money,” Lane said. “I know that Vegas is the better of the two teams, but are we looking at a sweep?
“This is the best plus-money opportunity that you’ll have in the series, certainly until Game 5. So it’s worth a shot to bet on a Capitals team that showed it can put up four goals against Vegas.”
Lane said he thinks Game 2 of any series is the most important one.
“Vegas punched them (in Game 1) and now Washington has to counterpunch,” he said. “If Washington doesn’t counterpunch, the series is over because Vegas already knows it can win in D.C. This will be the Capitals’ best effort. They understand that a 2-0 hole is devastating.”
Besides the Capitals being motivated to salvage a split of the first two games on the road, Lane expects them to be more comfortable and for coach Barry Trotz to make key adjustments.
“The greatest adjustment for a coach is between Game 1 and Game 2. Now they’ve played each other and given each other a blueprint on how to attack what they do,” he said. “Usually the team that loses Game 1 makes the biggest adjustment.”
Puck movement holds the key to Washington’s success or lack thereof, according to Lane.
“It really just comes down to puck movement and catching and getting that puck off your stick as quick as possible. That’s how you beat a team with speed, and that’s the only way they can beat Vegas,” he said. “If Washington is not able to move the puck quickly in all three zones, they’re really going to have a difficult time with this team and will have a difficult time winning a game.”
The total for Game 2 is 5½ (Over minus 130). The over is 5-1 in Vegas’ past six home games.
The Knights are plus 175 on the puck line (-1½). Vegas is 13-3 in the playoffs overall and 7-1 at home, where they’ve won three of their past four by two goals.
Empty netter nets cash for bettors
Tomas Nosek’s empty-net goal with 2.7 seconds left covered the puck line (minus 1½, plus 175) for the Knights in Game 1 while causing a $50,000 swing in favor of bettors at CG Technology sports book. The otherwise meaningless goal also caused a mid-five-figure swing at Caesars Palace sports book, a $15,000 swing at the Westgate sports book and a five-figure swing at the Wynn Las Vegas sports book, among others.