Tuesday NHL Betting: Odds, Picks and Predictions: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Chicago Blackhawks (August 18)

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Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Kane

  • The Vegas Golden Knights are a big favorite over the Chicago Blackhawks as they look to close out their series.
  • Michael Leboff will get involved with Chicago at +170 or better.
  • Get his full breakdown and preview for Knights vs. Blackhawks below.

Knights vs. Blackhawks Game 5

Blackhawks Odds +175 [BET NOW]
Golden Knights Odds -200 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 6 (-103/-120) [BET NOW]
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
TV NBCSN

Odds via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The Chicago Blackhawks got on the board against the Golden Knights but it wasn’t pretty. The Hawks needed a blood and thunder show from their goalie, Corey Crawford, to avoid getting swept out of the bubble.

It was the type of performance that showed you why betting on the NHL can be so frustrating — or so wonderful. The Blackhawks did not deserve to win that game, they attempted only 29 shots at 5-on-5 compared to 76 by Vegas, but because Crawford ate his Wheaties on Sunday morning the Hawks cashed at +170. Goaltending will drive you batty.

Chicago will likely need more sorcery from Crawford on Tuesday if it wants to extend this series to six games because the Blackhawks are getting absolutely smacked at 5-on-5 in this series.

5-on-5 stat Vegas Golden Knights Chicago Blackhawks
Goals 10 5
Expected Goals 9.69 5.01
Shot Attempts 240 154
High-danger scoring chances 46 22

Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.

Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.

xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.


Vegas’ dominance at 5-on-5 is not surprising. The Golden Knights created more expected goals at even strength than any team in the league during the regular season and the Blackhawks are higgledy-piggledy on defense so this was always going to be a mismatch.

The Hawks have plenty of scoring talent and a terrific goalie so they are dangerous to win in a one-game sample, especially if the game goes off the rails, but over the course of a seven-game series it was pretty clear that this was going to be one-way traffic for the most part.

Outside of Game 3, which seems to be a weird outlier, the market seems to have settled on the -200/+170 range for this contest. Even though Chicago is coming off a win I would be surprised if the Hawks’ price shortens much before puck drop on Tuesday night.

Vegas Golden Knights Chicago Blackhawks
Game 1 -215 +180
Game 2 -205 +175
Game 3 -177 +150
Game 4 -200 +170
Game 5 -200 +175

Odds via DraftKings

The odds imply that Vegas has a 64.7% chance of ending this series in Game 5. I think that number is a tad high, though I admit that I’m not really tickled by the idea of betting on the Blackhawks because I know exactly how it’s going to go: Chicago will get shelled all night and will need its stars to produce enough moments of magic to provide cover for its wobbly defense.

This has all the makings of a bet that you avoid watching but I think it’s Chicago or pass at this number. I’m going to wait to see how high the Blackhawks get, but I’m going to be in on the underdog at +170 or better.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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