NHL Playoff Odds, Picks: Golden Knights vs. Jets Game 3 Preview & Prediction (April 22)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Connor #81 of the Winnipeg Jets
- After splitting the first two games in Las Vegas, the Golden Knights head to Winnipeg for Game 3 with the Jets on Saturday afternoon.
- The first two games were closer than the results might suggest, and it could continue tonight.
- Below, Nicholas Martin shares his favorite bets for Golden Knights vs. Jets, including an overtime pick and a player prop.
Golden Knights vs. Jets Game 3 Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-106|
|Over/Under||5.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Winnipeg Jets gave the top-seeded Las Vegas Golden Knights all they could handle on the road at T-Mobile Arena and now they return home after a 1-1 split. The combination of strong play and home-ice advantage has the Jets priced as slight favorites in Game 3.
With the odds in this matchup so close, there are two bets I’m eyeing for Golden Knights vs. Jets. Read on for more analysis and betting predictions below.
Vegas Golden Knights
Over the last month, Vegas has been less sharp than its elite results suggest, even if a troubling injury situation was part of the reason. That trend did carry into the first four periods of this series, where Winnipeg was clearly the better side.
The Knights started to find their game after in Game 2 and played two great periods for a deserving 5-2 win.
Vegas played to an expected goals share of 42.65% in the series opener. High-danger scoring chances in the series are almost dead even.
The greatest surprise of Vegas’ play down the stretch was its poor defensive. Bruce Cassidy built a reputation for as a tremendous defensive coach in Boston, and he did have his side playing far better hockey defensively for much of the season.
It’d make sense to see them stabilize on that front now playing at closer to full health. Captain Mark Stone has at times been one of the best defensive forwards in the league, and he offers a ton of upside that was not in the lineup down the stretch.
Stone struggled badly in the series opener but was far better in Game 2, and he broke through with two key goals in the third period.
Vegas was the best road team in the league this season, owning a 26-7-8 mark.
The surprisingly dominant play of former Jets backup goaltender Laurent Brossoit was a crucial part of the Knights’ strong record down the stretch. Brossoit owned a .927 save %, 2.17 goals against average, and +5.9 goals saved above expected rating in 11 appearances.
Winnipeg became a trendy underdog pick to win this series after a strong finish to the season. The Jets profile as a traditionally strong playoff side featuring a ton of size in the lineup with an elite goaltending option in Connor Hellebuyck.
Earning a split in the first two games certainly helps the Jets’ chances, and they will return home to what should be an extremely lively crowd. They played to a 26-13-2 mark on home ice, and Canada Life Centre does have a reputation for being a tough place to play.
The Jets feature a very strong top six with a number of potent scoring threats on the top two units. Adam Lowry centers a very strong third line and has been a key factor in the Jets well-rounded play in this series.
The depth of Winnipeg’s blue line is its greatest weakness relative to Vegas in this series, and it has been key to its downfall over the last several seasons. Josh Morrissey is a legitimate Norris candidate, but outside of him, the upside of the bottom two pairings is far below what the Knights can offer.
Even still, the Jets’ defensive play has been much more solid under Rick Bowness this season. Over the last 10 regular season games, they allowed just 2.68 expected goals against per 60, and they have allowed just 2.61 in the first two games of the series.
Connor Hellebuyck was among the best goaltenders in the league again this season with a +30.8 GSAx and .920 save % in 62 appearances. He will start in this matchup.
Golden Knights vs. Jets Pick
The first two games of this series were much more evenly contested than the final scores suggested. Today’s matchup could easily be the one that remains tight throughout, and perhaps we do not see anyone pull away in regulation at all.
It’s hard for me to see either side garnering a multi-goal lead in this one. If the game becomes deadlocked entering the third, it’s possible that just holds for the rest of the game, as we saw in Los Angeles last night.
I lean toward Winnipeg as a side, but I believe the most value is in this game sneaking into overtime.
My main fear with this angle is that eventually, Laurent Brossoit is due to find worse results based upon his history, which could then lead to a bigger Jets win. Even on that front, however, Brossoit has been proving me wrong for over a month now with his strong play.
With +350 odds, this is a great number to look for this matchup to go into OT.
On the prop side of things, I think looking at Kyle Connor to record more than 3.5 shots on goal is a great play here. Through the opening two games of this series, Connor has put up 13 shots. That lofty total has come from a ridiculous 19 attempts at goal, with 16 of those going as unblocked shot attempts.
The Picks: Kyle Connor over 3.5 shots on goal (+102 at FanDuel) | Golden Knights-Jets regulation tie (+350 at FanDuel)
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