NHL Betting: Will the Real Sergei Bobrovsky Please Stand Up?
Aaron Doster, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Sergei Bobrovsky
Betting odds: Vegas Golden Knights at St. Louis Blues
- Golden Knights moneyline: +110
- Blues moneyline: -130
- Over/Under: 6 (+100/-120)
- Puck drop: 8 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
Despite their disappointing 5-6-1 start, the Vegas Golden Knights are actually playing decent hockey. They benefited from some puck luck in 2017-18 and now they are getting the short end of the stick to start ’18-19.
The Knights boast some really impressive peripheral stats:
- 1.87 expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60), 2nd in the NHL
- 9.26 High-Danger Scoring Chances Against (HDCA) per 60 minutes, 4th
- 12.63 High-Danger Scoring Chances For per 60 minutes, 7th
- 2.56 xGF/60, 7th
- 56.6% Corsi Rating (CF%), 3rd in the NHL
Unfortunately, Vegas is shooting just 5.11% at 5v5, and its goalies have an .892 even strength save percentage, the fifth-lowest in the league.
The Knights should start to see some more results go their way if they continue to play as well as they have so far.
The Blues have also gotten off to a slow start despite high expectations for 2018-19. St. Louis sits second-to-last in the Western Conference at 3-4-3 and has a -5 goal differential at 5v5. The Blues’ underlying numbers fail to impress as well.
St. Louis has a 46.7 CF% and is averaging 2.11 xGF/60. Both of those numbers put them in the bottom third of the NHL.
The Blues’ goalies have also struggled mightily so far. Jake Allen has the worst Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA) in the NHL at -5.82, and his career portfolio doesn’t suggest there’s much of a reason to trust him.
With all that in mind, I think this game is pretty much 50-50 and see the value on the road underdog.
The Bet: Vegas Golden Knights +110
Betting odds: Columbus Blue Jackets at San Jose Sharks
- Blue Jackets moneyline: +140
- Sharks moneyline: -160
- Over/Under: 6 (-110/-110)
- Puck drop: 10:30 p.m. ET
Sergei Bobrovsky has not looked like one of the best goalies in the NHL to start the season.
Even though ‘Bob’ has struggled through his first seven games this season, he’s still among the elite netminders in the NHL and he probably will round into form sooner rather than later.
Sooner would be better, of course, as the 30-year-old Russian will take on one of the better teams in the NHL at generating scoring chances. San Jose is second in the NHL with 14.79 HDCF/60 and 2.96 xGF/60.
The Jackets aren’t too far behind in either category — they rank sixth in HDCF/60 and third in xGF/60 — so this could be a fun one to watch. In fact, the Sharks and Blue Jackets are No. 1 and No. 2 in the NHL in terms of expected goals pace at 5v5. There will be scoring chances in this one, and I think that provides some value on Columbus.
In a game that figures to see a lot of scoring chances at both ends of the ice, I’ll take the better goaltender at this price.
The Bet: Columbus +140