Golden Knights vs. Senators NHL Betting Odds & Prediction

Golden Knights vs. Senators NHL Betting Odds & Prediction article feature image

Pictured: William Carrier. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

  • The Senators host the Golden Knights in a matchup of teams headed in different directions.
  • Ottawa hasn't been bad, but Las Vegas has been on fire. Will the Golden Knights' win streak end tonight?
  • Ryan Dadoun previews the game and shares his best bet below.

Golden Knights vs. Senators Odds

Golden Knights Odds-145
Senators Odds+120
Over/Under6.5 (-105/-115)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Vegas has jumped out to a 9-2-0 record and is on a five-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Ottawa has lost three straight to fall to 4-5-0. At a glance it's easy to see why the odds favor the Golden Knights, but even great teams lose some games and all winning streaks end eventually.

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Reversal of Fortunes in Vegas

Not a lot of people would have correctly guessed that the Golden Knights would win nine of their first 11 games. Vegas missed the playoffs last season with a 43-31-8 record and although that poor performance was due in part to key players such as Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty missing significant chunks of the season due to injury, Vegas' cap situation forced it to part ways with Pacioretty and Evgenii Dadonov over the summer. In other words, Vegas missed the playoffs and then lost a couple veteran forwards.

It's not as if Vegas' injury woes were solved this season either. Would-be starting goaltender Robin Lehner underwent hip surgery and isn't expected to play at all this season. Vegas' goaltending depth took another hit with Laurent Brossoit also sidelined due to a hip injury.

Vegas has consequently had to lean on netminders Logan Thompson and Adin Hill. Going into the campaign, many would have pointed to the Golden Knights' goaltending as an area of significant concern, but it has actually been at the heart of their success. Thompson is 5-2-0 with a 1.73 GAA and a .938 save percentage in seven starts. Hill has posted a 4-0-0 record, 1.72 GAA and a .940 save percentage in four games.

Vegas has been the best defensive team in the league and is allowing just 1.73 goals per game. The Dallas Stars are a distant second in the category with 2.30 goals allowed per game. To give Vegas' pace some context, in the entirety of the salary cap era, only one team, the 2011-12 St. Louis Blues, has managed to finish a season with fewer than two goals allowed per game.

The Golden Knights' offense has served them well too. In his first fully healthy season with Vegas, Jack Eichel has led the Golden Knights with five goals and 12 points in 11 contests. Forwards Chandler Stephenson, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Stone each have recorded at least eight points so far this season, demonstrating that Vegas doesn't lack scoring depth, despite the talent it shed over the summer.

Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore are also stepping up on offense with nine and eight points, respectively, further demonstrating that Vegas has been a complete package.

Ottawa Senators

The offseason additions of Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat were a statement that the Senators were moving beyond their rebuilding phase. However, they've struggled to back up that assertion on the ice.

To be fair, it's not as if Ottawa's been bad and the offense has clearly been a strength. DeBrincat has two goals and eight points in nine games while Giroux has three goals and seven points. Either one could do a bit better, but neither has gotten off to a bad start.

The forwards around them are doing their part too. Brady Tkachuk made strides in each of his first four seasons and 2022-23 is looking like another step forward. In fact, he already has six goals and a team-leading 12 points. Drake Batherson isn't far behind with three goals and 11 points and Shane Pinto has been hot out of the gate with six goals and seven points.

To put it simply, there's a lot to like about this forward core and when they're on, they're a treat to see. Ottawa scored a staggering 22 goals in four games during a winning streak from Oct. 18-24. The trouble is the Senators' offense isn't always on, and when it's not, Ottawa hasn't been able to eke out a win.

Part of the issue is that goaltender Cam Talbot hasn't played yet this season because of a rib injury and Ottawa's other options haven't risen to the occasion. Anton Forsberg has started in eight of the Senators' nine games and has been okay at best with a 3.18 GAA and a .909 save percentage. The Senators' defense hasn't done him any favors either.

In fact, Ottawa has allowed 34.6 shots per game, the sixth worst in the league. Forsberg has faced fewer than 30 shots just twice and an unreal 57 shots were pelted at him during Florida's 5-3 win over Ottawa on Saturday.

Still, whether the Senators' reason is their goaltending or defense or a combination of the two, Ottawa has been entirely too dependent on winning through sheer goal-scoring force.

Golden Knights vs. Senators Pick

Vegas will be a big test for Ottawa. Can Ottawa's forward core generate offense against a team that's been as stingy as the Golden Knights? So far, no one else has. Vegas hasn't surrendered more than three goals in a game and they've only done that on three occasions.

It's worth noting although Vegas has faced some teams that should be high-powered offensively such as Colorado, Toronto, and Washington, none of those teams have played up to expectations due to injuries or other factors.

In fact, in terms of goals per game, Ottawa is the best rated team the Golden Knights have faced. So, to some extent, this is also a test on Vegas' end to see how much of the early goaltending success has been thanks to favorable circumstances.

Of course, the Golden Knights don't need near perfect goaltending to win games. They've benefited from it so far, but the offensive talent is there for them to challenge Ottawa regardless. I see the Golden Knights as strong favorites for this one, though I will hedge a little by recommending Vegas on the moneyline rather than puck line.

Pick: Vegas Golden Knights Moneyline -140 (Play down to -155)

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