NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Golden Knights vs. Ducks (December 1)
Zak Krill/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mark Stone.
- The Golden Knights are favored on Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks.
- Vegas it getting healthy before facing a surprising Ducks team.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and making his betting pick below.
Golden Knights vs. Ducks Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-145|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
A quarter of the way into the season, Dallas Eakins’ developing young Ducks have managed a surprisingly strong start. Anaheim enters Wednesday night’s matchup against the Golden Knights in control of the Pacific Division’s third playoff spot, ahead of Vegas.
The Golden Knights have fought through a treacherous injury situation en route to a middling record, but they can leapfrog the Ducks in the standings on Wednesday with a much cleaner bill of health.
Returning Stars Will Boost Knights
Nothing is overly concerning with Vegas 12-9-0 start. If anything, that’s a pretty strong mark considering the losses, which have been plentiful, to high-caliber players.
Those who have missed significant time include captain Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, Vegas’ two most crucial forwards. Stone’s stellar two-way play placed him ninth in Hart-Trophy voting last year and third in the Selke Trophy race, while Pacioretty’s elite scoring ability led him to 51 points in 44 games last season and the club lead with 24 goals.
Both have returned favorably to the roster, with Stone posting nine points in nine games and Pacioretty notching five in four this season. Skating with Chandler Stephenson, the duo controlled play to a 60.6 xGF% Saturday against Edmonton, often head-to-head with some of the league’s absolute best.
The duo could offer a notable boost to Vegas’ power play, which has struggled mightily again posting just a 10.6% success rate. Any kind of uptick would be a great boost to a club that has consistently been fantastic at even strength with its main core under coach Pete Deboer.
The team currently has gotten enough pieces back that I think we will start to see some more dominant results, although Alec Martinez and William Karlsson are both excellent players who will remain out. Jack Eichel is also yet to make his debut, and he will provide a massive boost to the middle of the ice if he is able to play somewhat close to the same level he displayed at times prior to injury.
Robin Lehner has been solid yet again this season between the pipes, stopping 91.3% of shots faced with a +6.3 goals saved above expected rating (GSAx).
Ducks Off To Unexpectedly Hot Start
Anaheim enters this game as one of the NHL’s positive surprises so far, proving to be a very likable bunch led by some exciting young talents and a veteran captain in Ryan Getzlaf.
The club holds a strong +9 goal differential, reasonable splits throughout the season (getting stronger if anything) and a 51.37 xGF% in November.
Troy Terry’s massive breakout alongside a resurgent Getzlaf has Anaheim with the league’s 10th-best goals for per game rating, and Trevor Zegras has shown more offensive creativity of late with nine points in his last seven games.
Assuming John Gibson starts on Tuesday, Anthony Stolarz will likely be between the pipes for Wednesday’s contest.
Stolarz has been very solid, stopping 93% of shots faced so far, with a +1.9 GSAx. He’s no slouch, but I think it’s still fair to say should hold a drop-off from Gibson this season, which offers Vegas an advantage.
Ducks vs. Golden Knights Pick
The Golden Knights will enter well-rested and skating as close to full health as we have seen this season, while the Ducks will be playing their second game in as many nights.
Vegas have continued to carry the play more as this month has worn along, with a very strong 54.39 xGF% over its last six contests, and I think we will see the Knights assert some dominance here over the upstart young Ducks, claiming a big regulation win as they look to track down Anaheim in the Pacific division standings.
These teams aren’t as close as this line indicates given the Knights’ improving health, so I think Vegas are certainly winning this game in regulation enough of the time to give us some good value at +115.
Pick: Golden Knights Win In Regulation +115 (play to +105)