The Daily Sweat: Vegas can take a huge step toward Stanley Cup in Game 2 vs. Florida

The Vegas Golden Knights wouldn't win a Stanley Cup if they can win Game 2 on Monday night. But in a city built on having the odds in its favor, the Golden Knights' edge would look pretty strong.

Teams that take a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final go on to win the series 90.6% of the time, with a 48-5 record. The Florida Panthers wouldn't be dead if they lost Game 2 on Monday night, but they'd be in some trouble.

Vegas won Game 1 at home, 5-2, on Saturday and the Golden Knights are -140 favorites at BetMGM to win Game 2.

Game 1 was much closer than the final score shows. Vegas had a big third period for the win. Game 1 was tied 2-2 after two periods, then Vegas strung together three goals in the third. It was still tied in the third due to an unbelievable save by Vegas goalie Adin Hill. Florida outshot Vegas, 35-34. Vegas just had a couple of key plays that turned the game in its favor.

The Panthers wouldn't be too intimidated down 2-0 in the series. They came back from being down 3-1 in a series against the top-seeded Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. But Florida doesn't want to be in that big hole going home. Based on how the Panthers played in Game 1 and how solid they have been all postseason, they should feel good about their chances to even the series on Monday night.

It should be another entertaining game with a lot of hitting, like Game 1 was. If the Golden Knights can find a way to win, history says they'd be in pretty good shape.

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone, left, celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with Brett Howden (21), defenseman Zach Whitecloud (2) and center Chandler Stephenson. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:

MLB has 8 games

It's a light sports day. The NBA Finals shifts to Florida for Game 3 on Wednesday. And MLB has a light schedule due to travel too.

There are still eight games to be played. The first game is in the afternoon as the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox finish out a four-game series at Fenway Park. The Red Sox took the first game but the Rays came back to take the next two. It doesn't get easier for Boston, as the Rays will be starting Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan. The Rays are -165 favorites.

One of the top games at night is the Houston Astros at the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays are -125 favorites. Toronto will start Alek Manoah, who had a big season in 2022 but is off to a rough start this season with a 5.46 ERA. Houston looks like a good underdog play.

What's the best bet?

Let's go with the Panthers. Some zig-zag betting worked in the NBA, with the Miami Heat winning in Game 2 after struggling in Game 1. Florida didn't struggle in Game 1 against Vegas, it just lost a hard-fought game. The Panthers could catch a couple more breaks in Game 2.