Canucks vs. Golden Knights Game 5 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Tuesday, Sept. 1)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob Markstrom and William Karlsson.
Canucks vs. Golden Knights Odds
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|Canucks Odds||+195 [BET NOW]|
|Golden Knights Odds||-238 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||6 (-110/-110) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday, 9:45 p.m. ET|
To the surprise of absolutely nobody going into Tuesday’s Game 5, the Vegas Golden Knights have a 3-1 series lead over the Vancouver Canucks in the second round of the NHL’s Western Conference playoffs. Vegas was considered by many to be a Stanley Cup favorite heading into the playoffs while Vancouver was a surprise team that most did not expect to get past the St. Louis Blues in the first round.
In other words, the Golden Knights have done exactly what most expected them to do. They have been the far better team in this series. In the second round, Vegas has the highest Corsi-for percentage, the highest expected goal percentage and the second-highest high-danger chances rate among all teams.
Despite the discrepancy in shot attempts and shot quality, this series has seen some close games and tight situations. Vancouver actually played very well in Game 2 and came away with a 5-2 victory. Heading into the third period of Game 4, the Canucks held a 3-2 lead before the Golden Knights stormed back with three unanswered goals for a 5-3 win.
The oddsmakers are telling you this series will end on Tuesday night, with Vegas laying up to -250 (BetMGM) in some spots. But are they right?
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are darlings for those that believe in the value of hockey analytics. They were a top-two team across the board during the regular season in the four major categories; shot attempts, scoring chances, high danger chances and expected goals. That trend has continued through the playoffs as mentioned earlier.
Vegas is powered by its top line of William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. While this trio is on the ice, the team has over a 67% expected goal rate in the series. That top line can wear down the opposition via the forecheck while also being talented and quick enough to strike off the rush. Stone is one of the best defensive forwards in the league, so this unit gets it done at both ends of the ice.
The Golden Knights’ only concern is barely a concern. Their second line centered by Paul Stastny has been the team’s worst line in terms of possession and attempts. Even though they are the team’s worst line, the trio is barely below 50%. Stastny did play over seven minutes at 5v5 against Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson in Game 4, which is a fair explanation for him lagging behind his team.
While Marc-Andre Fleury stepped into the crease for Vegas in Game 4 on Sunday in the second game of a back-to-back situation, it would be shocking if he remained there in Game 5. Robin Lehner has been the man for the Golden Knights in these playoffs, starting all but two of their games. In this series, Lehner has made three starts and recorded two shutouts. Not a bad ratio.
The Canucks have a very limited path to victory against the Golden Knights. We’ve already discussed how Vegas is a dynamo when it comes to playing with the puck and generating scoring chances. Vancouver is the opposite of that, coming in below average in the shot quality and shot attempt categories.
Therefore, you can’t realistically expect the Canucks to grind out victories by playing a lot of the game in the offensive zone. What we saw through 40 minutes in Game 4 is exactly what it’s going to take for Vancouver to win another game.
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom faced 25 shots in the first two periods of Game 4 for the Canucks. He stopped 23 of them, including quite a few which were of the high-danger variety. On the other end, Fleury was beaten three times on 20 shots. A goaltending advantage is a possibility every night with Markstrom. Unfortunately for Vancouver, Markstrom was beaten three times on eight shots in the final stanza.
The Canucks got contributions from their top guys as well. While Vegas is clearly the much better team, one can argue that Vancouver has more high-end talent with players like Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. In Game 4, Pettersson scored, J.T. Miller had three points and Hughes added two assists. Bo Horvat and Tyler Toffoli added goals as well. The big guns need to be difference makers, and through the first two periods on Sunday, they were.
Vancouver’s power play also has the chance to be a game-changer. The Canucks scored twice on the first three opportunities. With the aforementioned Pettersson and Hughes quarterbacking this unit, they always have the ability to take advantage of their opportunities and flip a game on its head.
Betting Analysis and Pick
It’s clear what the numbers say, it’s clear what the public perception is and it’s clear what the bookmakers think: these teams are not on the same level.
Vegas was always going to be a well-deserved substantial favorite for all the reasons mentioned. However, the Golden Knights also has a tendency to be slightly overvalued because their hometown fans live in the gambling capital of the world.
I thought the lines in the first few games of the series were a little high. Vancouver as a +170 underdog in Games 3 and 4 was tempting. But in Game 5, we get an even juicier number, with the Canucks as +200 underdogs (BetMGM).
This is a no-brainer for me. Vancouver has a great goaltender and elite top-end talent. This is also an elimination game for the Canucks, so it’ll be hard for their opponent to match their desperation levels.
At +200, it’s implied that Vancouver has a 33% chance of forcing a Game 6. I think that’s way too low. I would bet the Canucks at any price better than +180. It won’t be fun, and it won’t be pretty, but sit back and pray for their best effort.
Pick: Canucks +200