NHL Odds, Picks and Predictions: Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 5 Preview (Monday, Sept. 14)
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images.
Game 5: Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights Odds
|Stars Odds||+ 148 [BET NOW]|
|Golden Knights Odds||-175 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5 (-129/+106) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Monday, 8 p.m. ET|
Against the odds, the Dallas Stars are one game away from a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Dallas has been superb so far in the Western Conference Final, leaning on its defense to quiet Vegas’ offense to just three 5-on-5 goals through four games.
You can point to Vegas’ underlying metrics, particularly the 2.54 expected goals per hour they are creating at 5-on-5, and make a case that the Golden Knights have been unfortunate, but this is nothing new for Vegas.
The Knights were the best possession team in the NHL during the regular season, but they always struggled to finish their chances. That same problem almost cost them the series against the Vancouver Canucks in Round 2.
The Knights are shooting just 3.3% in this series and 6.98% in the playoffs, so it’s fair to expect some positive regression. But they operated at 7.7% during the regular season, so this is just who they are. They are great at everything except scoring goals. And scoring goals is important.
The Stars may be getting the bounces and the saves, but that’s how hockey goes, and baking that variance into the cake is a big part of trying to handicap the NHL.
|5-on-5 Stat||Golden Knights||Stars|
|Goals per 60||0.94||1.54|
|Goals Against per 60||1.54||0.94|
|Expected Goals per 60||2.54||2.09|
|Expected Goals Against per 60||2.09||2.54|
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.
The betting market in this series has been remarkably stubborn. The Knights closed as -175 favorites in Game 1. Four games and three losses later, and Vegas is listed at that same price in a must-win Game 5.
The Knights are a popular team with bettors given their location and their record. Plus, there could be a good chunk of bettors out there who will blindly back them at this number because they can’t see Vegas going down like this. That said, I’m still pretty surprised that the price on Dallas hasn’t shortened even a little bit for Game 5.
Odds via DraftKings.
Game 5 Betting Pick
There are lots of games between good and bad teams throughout an NHL season, and a lot of them are priced similarly to what we’ve been seeing in this series. But this isn’t a matchup between a good team and a bad one, it’s a contest between a great team and a really good one.
When you convert the listed odds to implied win probability, the Golden Knights come out with a 61.2% chance of winning Game 5. I think that price flatters Vegas considerably, especially since the team is in the middle of a cold streak and playing the second-best defense in the NHL from the regular season.
Sometimes odds will make you scratch your noggin, but why look a gift horse in the mouth? I don’t know why you’d look any other way but the Stars at this price.
The Bet: Dallas +140 or better