Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 2 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Tuesday, Sept. 8)
Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Alec Martinez
Game 2: Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights Odds
|Stars Odds||+140 [BET NOW]|
|Golden Knights Odds||-165 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5.5 (-115/-106) [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
The toughest part about handicapping this best-of-7 series is trying to figure out the Dallas Stars. During the regular season, Dallas was a defensive force and led the Western Conference in Goals Against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. The Stars played a structured style of hockey and relied on their goaltending.
The Stars were also known to be offensively inept. Only one team in the league scored fewer 5-on-5 goals than Dallas did during the 2019-20 campaign. It speaks volumes about Dallas’ defense and goaltending that the Stars were able to finish with the fourth-best points percentage in the Western Conference.
The Stars have transformed into a completely different team in the playoffs. Instead of keeping games tight and grinding out results, they’ve started playing loose and were trading chances with their opponents. It was surprising to see the Stars abandon their formula. It was more surprising that it worked.
Dallas’ change in tune presented a conundrum ahead of their best-of-7 series with the Vegas Golden Knights. Who the hell do these Dallas Stars think they are?
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.
Game 1 was a slog for both teams. Vegas looked especially sluggish. The Knights were outchanced, 35-19, in the first two periods of the curtain-raiser before finding their legs in the third. It was too little, too late as the Stars snuck away with a 1-0 win on Sunday night.
Dallas played a terrific defensive game, keeping the Knights to just four high-danger scoring chances and 1.01 expected goals at 5-on-5. After averaging 3.5 goals per game in Rounds 1 and 2, the Stars needed just the one goal to beat Vegas in the opener and it felt like the Stars never really needed to kick things into second gear.
That isn’t a slight against the Stars, who before they morphed into an offensive masterpiece, were a team that excelled at turning games into coin flips. Those types of teams, ones that can muck it up, often have betting value against more talented teams.
Game 2 Betting Pick
The Knights are still the better bet to control play at 5-on-5, but the Stars are a tricky opponent. Dallas just beat one of the best offenses in the league in a high-scoring seven-game series and on Sunday the Stars proved they still have their defensive wits about them. Vegas may have the puck all night on Tuesday but whether the Knights can bake that possession into quality scoring chances is another thing entirely.
I thought the market was too high on the Golden Knights in Game 1. Vegas closed at -175 at DraftKings, giving them an implied win probability of 61.2%. Even though Vegas’ price has dipped to -159 (59.1% implied probability), I still think there’s a smidge of value on the underdogs in Game 2.
At the time of writing the Stars are sitting between +130 and +140 (check our updated odds page to shop for the best number) for Tuesday night’s showdown. As is always the case when betting underdogs, I expect the Golden Knights to win Game 2. I just don’t think they win it as often these odds suggest they do.
Not only is Dallas capable of gritting its teeth through a low-scoring coin flip, but the Stars have shown they can hang around if Vegas gets this game off the rails. The more paths to victory, the better. Especially at these odds.
The Bet: Dallas Stars +135 or better