Stanley Cup by the odds: Sports book preview and pick of Game 4

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Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

Vegas Golden Knights fans boo as Washington Capitals players are introduced during a watch party for Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final Saturday, June 2, 2018, at Toshiba Plaza.

Mon, Jun 4, 2018 (2 a.m.)

The Vegas Golden Knights have a chance to prove their season-long insistence that they play better as an underdog tonight in Washington D.C.

For the first time since Vegas clinched its spot in the Stanley Cup Final with a series win over Winnipeg, the odds don’t consider it the team most likely to win the NHL’s championship. The Capitals are now favored to win the Stanley Cup after Saturday’s 3-1 game 3 win over the Golden Knights to take a 2-1 series lead.

Washington is minus-240 (risking $2.40 to win $1) to win the series with Vegas coming back at plus-190 (risking $1 to win $1.90) at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. After adjusting for the house’s hold percentage, that line implies a 68 percent chance that the Capitals win their franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

Although the overall price shifted heavily in the Capitals’ direction after game 3, lines for the next game stayed the same. Washington is once again most commonly a minus-130 favorite in tonight’s game 4, which starts at 5 p.m. and airs on NBC, with Vegas coming back at plus-110.

The Capitals can be found at as low as minus-120, a number that might be more widespread by game time if game 4 continues to follow the same path as game 3. Action came in on Vegas on Saturday locally to force the line to drop.

It will be telling to see if Vegas’ fan base continues to support it at the betting window even after the game 3 letdown. The Golden Knights never gave its backers much reason for optimism in the game, falling behind early in the second period behind Alexander Ovechkin’s second Stanley Cup Final and never mustering much offense.

Vegas managed only 22 shots on goal, its fewest since a 4-2 western conference final game 1 loss in Winnipeg. The loss marked the Golden Knights’ first playoff defeat after coming into the game trailing or tied in the series.

That’s another testament to how well they’ve played when the odds are stacked against them. The Golden Knights need to channel that energy in game 4, as their season largely depends on it.

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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