NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Devils vs. Golden Knights (April 18)
Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images. Pictured: Evgeny Dadonov (Golden Knights)
- The Knights look to keep their playoff hopes alive as they host the Devils on Monday.
- The Devils have played high-scoring games all season long while the Knights have been excellent offensively during their recent tear.
- Here's how Nick Martin is betting this NHL duel.
Devils vs. Golden Knights Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-350|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After a regulation loss in Edmonton Saturday afternoon, Vegas will return home with its playoff hopes on life support.
In a season that once featured realistic Stanley Cup aspirations, the Knights will look to take advantage of a Devils team that allowed a ton of goals all season long and suffered a 4-3 shootout loss on Saturday vs. Seattle.
Can the Knights put up a big number here as they look to keep their postseason hopes alive?
Devils Love High-Scoring Affairs
For the entire time I have handicapped the NHL game totals, opening at 6.5 has been quite rare. This season, with scoring being up by a notable margin league-wide, they have become far more common.
However, for a few teams, a total of 6.5 has still left playing the over consistently quite profitable. New Jersey is surely one of those teams.
Over the last 17 games, the Devils combined totals have averaged 7.56, with the over going 12-5-0 during that stretch.
Regardless of how the Devils play, they continue to allow a ton of goals against, and we have seen them continue to play in very high-scoring contests all season long.
The goaltending continues to be well below average — which is the clearest causation — but I still continually believe this club isn’t as defensively sharp as it’s analytics suggest. That is likely due to the nature of breakdowns consistently offered.
That situation does not figure to get any better down the stretch, as Jonas Siegenthaler (done for the season) has quietly been the Devils’ best defender.
Ryan Graves has arguably been the next best man behind him and he could also be unavailable for this contest after being cut by a skate blade on Saturday.
Nico Daws will likely get the start in goal for the Devils. He has struggled with a -7.6 goals saved above expected rating and a .893 save % through 25 games played.
Vegas Likes Offensive Production Too
After one of it’s performances of the season in a 6-1 win over the Flames on Thursday, Vegas put together quite a disappointing effort in Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Oilers.
Altogether, the Knights have been playing some great hockey of late, which would probably feel more notable if not for the fact that they’re outside of the playoff picture.
The Knights are 7-2-1 over their last 10, with a strong 55.51 expected goals rate. They have produced offense very effectively during that span, averaging 3.90 goals for per game, which is only moderately higher than their strong 3.54 xGF/60 rating suggests they should produce.
With Jack Eichel playing at a very high level — as well as Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty now back in the lineup — there isn’t much argument as to why the strong offensive play shouldn’t continue down the stretch.
I’m expecting a good output here.
The Knights have allowed a 2.83 xGF/60 rate over this 10-game tear. They’re succeeding in what is an up-tempo style of hockey.
Logan Thompson should get the start in goal for the Knights. He has maintained the excellent level he displayed in the AHL.
Devils vs. Golden Knights Pick
This is a massive spot for the Knights, so I believe we are going to see them take advantage of a shaky Devils backend.
Vegas has effectively produced offense recently, and outside of what was surely a disappointing effort on Saturday in Edmonton, it has been very consistent in that regard over the last month.
The Knights are a team that generally worries about generating offensively and controlling the chances against by playing in the offensive zone. This young Devils core can certainly generate looks going the other way and create a decent output.
My expectation is that Vegas will find a way to get this win and do so behind a strong offensive output. A parlay of Vegas to claim two points here and the game total to go over 6.5 is priced at +162. I see value backing that down to +150.
Pick: Over 6.5/Vegas Moneyline Parlay +162 (Play to +150)