Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Arizona Coyotes Betting Preview

Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Arizona Coyotes Betting Preview article feature image

Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) celebrates with defenseman Nicolas Hague (14)

  • The Vegas Golden Knights are surging toward a cup run while the Arizona Coyotes are more bark than bite.
  • With five days of rest, Nicholas Martin is bullish on the Knights to rebound from a shaky streak.
  • Find his prediction below and pick for the contest.

Golden Knights vs. Coyotes Odds

Golden Knights Odds-250
Coyotes Odds+200
Time9:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Due to a combination of injuries, tough competition and meaningful roster changes, the Vegas Golden Knights seem to have fallen into somewhat of a mid season lull, possibly aided by the fact that frankly this team doesn't have much to play for in the lowly Pacific division.

Regardless, they will enter this one well rested and looking to play closer to their true potential, as well as build on a strong 4-1 victory over the Sharks Sunday. Will we see Vegas continue to produce closer to the type of dominant play we expect from this roster here against the lowly Arizona Coyotes?

Vegas Golden Knights Ready to Battle

A 5-3-2 record over Vegas' last 10 games is certainly not bad, particularly when considering it included the Eastern swing through Florida, Tampa, Carolina and Washington, as well as dates with the Flames and Avalanche, but the play hasn't been at the lofty level this club expects in a season that is simply cup or bust.

The Knights hold just a 49.1 expected goals rate over that time, but for a number of reasons I feel we could be seeing them at somewhat of a low point here. Strong competition, the fact that neither Jack Eichel nor Max Pacioretty were in the picture for many of those contests and that both are likely to produce better play moving forward coming off of their respective injuries, I see this tide changing quickly.

Mark Stone will remain out of the picture but — in his fight against what seems to be a very legitimate back issue and not just an easy way for Vegas to navigate the cap — he truly had not often played to the level we expected. It would be different if the Knights were now missing a guy who had been producing at an MVP-level — but his impact isn't as great when we factor his absence into expected results.

The Golden Knights' current lineup still offers a scary amount of talent. I feel this sets up as a spot where they will play closer to that elite potential as they prepare to push toward here off of five days of rest.

It seems that Robin Lehner could return from injury and is listed as day-to-day, which would be a bonus, but both Logan Thompson and Laurent Broissoit are respectable backups with positive goals saved above expected ratings this season, so the ultimate decision is not crucial to a play in my eyes.

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Arizona Coyotes More Bark Than Bite

Arizona hung around Wednesday against the Kings, in large part because of some unfinished Los Angeles opportunities, but ultimately fell 3-2 in what was a very fair result given the matchup.

The Coyotes have been a scrappier bunch this month, but have still controlled far less of the play with the second-worst expected goals rate of 43.54. I feel this sets up as a spot where they will carry less of the play than even that average suggests.

With Ilya Lyubushkin shipped off to Toronto, 20-year-old Vladislav Kolyachonok drew back into the lineup against L.A. and should play again here. He was clearly being exposed over his 12:43 of ice-time — making a brutal turnover on the Kings' second goal — and could be another below-replacement-level player on the Coyotes' back-end moving forward.

Karel Vejmelka will likely get the start here in what has been a very closely shared crease of late. He holds a -11.0 goals saved above expected rating with a .900 save percentage throughout 31 games played this season, numbers I would argue are probably a little critical of his reasonable play due to the nature of breakdowns on a team like the Coyotes.

Golden Knights-Coyotes Pick

Vegas appear to be a team due for an upswing in play considering the roster on hand, although its recent results and numbers have been middling.

As outlined, the Golden Knights have faced a wealth of tougher competition of late, and to me they enter this one flying a little under the radar. This is a team that is likely due to produce more dominant results down the stretch

The Coyotes have been scrappier at hanging around in contests, but it's still easy for me to see Vegas coming out with a lot of energy here on a near-ideal amount of rest at five days, controlling far more of the play and putting together a strong offensive output amid a ton of quality chances.

I would certainly lean toward the over with regards to totals, but my favorite play on this one is with Vegas to cover the puck-line (-1.5), which sits at +105 at the time of writing. I would play that line down to -115.

Pick: Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 | Bet to: -115

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