Golden Knights-Ducks Odds, Preview: Vegas Searches For Fifth Win on the Spin
Gary A. Vazquez, USA Today Sports. Pictured: John Gibson
Betting odds: Vegas Golden Knights at Anaheim Ducks
- Golden Knights moneyline: -125
- Ducks moneyline: +105
- Over/Under: 5.5
- Puck drop: 10 p.m. ET
All odds current as of 11:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.
NHL Record: 31-31, +11.32 units
Something funny happened to the Golden Knights this season. Vegas started pretty slowly despite playing pretty well, and then quietly started to turn their strong play into tangible results. A team that turned the sports world upside down last season, is now flying under the radar in 2018-19. That’s how it feels, anyway.
The Knights are on a four-game winning streak, have collected at least a point in nine of their last 10 and are just two points behind the division-leading Calgary Flames.
Vegas’ impressive first-half performance isn’t any smoke-and-mirror show, either. The Knights rank in the top five in both expected goals for and against per 60 minutes and they allow the third-fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60, too.
While Vegas has seemed to find it’s groove, the Anaheim Ducks are still one of the most peculiar teams in the league. The Ducks allow the most xGA/60 and create the fourth-fewest xGF/60 while controlling just 46% of the shot share at even strength. Those numbers paint a bleak picture but Anaheim has John Gibson and he’s very good at stopping pucks from going in the net.
Not only has Gibson been the best goaltender in the league, he should be an honest contender for the Hart Trophy this season as the 25-year-old has kept the Ducks season afloat almost single-handedly.
The good news is that the Ducks have improved over the past 25 games or so. They likely won’t dictate the tempo, but things aren’t as bad in front of Gibson as they were in the season’s first quarter. In fact, over their last 10 games Randy Carlyle’s charges are above 50% Corsi.
The Knights are likely going to be the team on the front foot in this game, but solving Gibson isn’t going to be easy and they are lacking scoring punch at the bottom of their lineup thanks to injuries to Max Pacioretty and Erik Haula.
With the Ducks at home and with their edge in goaltending, I think this game is a virtual coin flip and would take Anaheim at plus-money.
Of course this is a little bit of a risky bet before Gibson is confirmed to be Anaheim’s goalie on Friday night, but outside of some lineup shenanigans I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t be playing as Anaheim isn’t on a back-to-back.
Here’s to hoping John Gibson plays like John Gibson on Friday night.
The Bet: Anaheim Ducks +105