The day is here for the Vegas Golden Knights. Nevada’s home team will drop the puck for the first time since the NHL paused its season in March. The Golden Knights will be one of the last teams remaining to play its first game of the playoff season.
Vegas plays the Dallas Stars this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in the Western Conference bubble in Edmonton, in Alberta, Canada.
Western Conference round robin
The top four teams in each conference will participate in the round robin mini-tournament for playoff seeding. Ranked by points percentage, the Western Conference round robin teams are:
- Blues (42-19-10, .662 points percentage)
- Avalanche (42-20-8, .657)
- Golden Knights (39-24-8, .606)
- Stars (37-24-8, .594)
The Blues and Avalanche played a classic NHL playoff game last night, with Colorado winning the game with just 0.1 seconds remaining.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) August 3, 2020
The Golden Knights will play the Blues on Aug. 6 and the Avalanche on Aug. 8. Game times are TBD. While teams in the NHL’s Toronto bubble will play games as early as 9 a.m., the Golden Knights will play during either the 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m or 7:30 p.m. (all times in PT) time slots.
Here’s the full schedule with TV times.
All games in this round will be played under regular-season overtime and shootout rules. Regular-season points percentage (listed above) will be used only as a tiebreaker for the round robin mini-tournament.
Golden Knights playoff odds
Prior to the beginning of play on Saturday, the Golden Knights and Boston Bruins were tied as the favorites to take home the Stanley Cup at 11/2 at William Hill Sportsbooks. The other teams in the Western Conference round robin mini-tournament had the following odds:
- Avalanche: 7/1
- Blues: 17/2 (or 8.5/1)
- Stars: 12/1
Heading into the weekend, 12% of all future wagers to win the 2019-20 Stanley Cup were on the Golden Knights. That’s more than any other team.
The Golden Knights aren’t just a popular wager. People are also putting money on the team. The Golden Knights had 11% of the money for all future wagers to win the 2019-20 Stanley Cup. That was only behind the Washington Capitals.
Game odds for the game today are:
Golden Knights: -140
Puck line odds for the game today are:
Golden Knights: -1.5 goals (+195)
Stars: +1.5 goals (-225)
Odds for the total goals scored are:
Over 5.5: (+120)
Under 5.5: (-140)
William Hill also has odds for the first period of the game:
Golden Knights: -135
The first period total for goals scored is 1.5. Under is favored at -130 while over is +110.
Circa Sports is offering a “Yes/No” option for teams to win the Stanley Cup. The “Yes” wager for the Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup is +775.
Bettors who don’t believe in the Golden Knights can get -1350 odds that the Golden Knights will not win the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A wager of $1350 will pay $100 if the Golden Knights don’t take home the championship.
Western Conference Qualifying Round
The qualifying round got underway on Saturday. This segment of the return to hockey is comprised of eight teams playing a best-of-five series to advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winners of each series will advance to the traditional round of 16 Stanley Cup Playoff.
The Golden Knights will take on one of the following teams after the initial rounds are complete.
- Edmonton Oilers (5) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (12)
- Nashville Predators (6) vs. Arizona Coyotes (11)
- Vancouver Canucks (7) vs. Minnesota Wild (10)
- Calgary Flames (8) vs. Winnipeg Jets (9)
The next four rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be the seven-game series hockey fans are used to seeing. The NHL is reseeding its playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. This is different than the traditional bracket format used for the past ten years.
Reseeding will begin with the best seed from the round robin playing the lowest remaining seed from the five-game series.