Predators vs. Golden Knights NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back the Road Underdogs in Sin City (Jan. 4)

Predators vs. Golden Knights NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back the Road Underdogs in Sin City (Jan. 4) article feature image

John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nashville’s Filip Forsberg.

  • The Predators are underdogs on Tuesday night against the Golden Knights in Las Vegas.
  • These two teams have met just once so far this year — a 5-2 win for the Golden Knights in Nashville on Nov. 24.
  • Carol Schram on why you should bet Nashville to pull out the win tonight.

Predators vs. Golden Knights Odds

Predators Odds+140
Golden Knights Odds-182
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Two of the hottest teams in the Western Conference will go head-to-head on Tuesday when the Nashville Predators pay a visit to Sin City to take on the Vegas Golden Knights.

Both teams are currently among the conference leaders and have been playing well of late. And their success is no fluke — the analytics support those results.

With that in mind, here's why you should consider backing the visitors in Tuesday's matchup.

Nashville Predators

The Predators have flown under the radar for a good part of this season, but a seven-game winning streak before the holiday break vaulted them to the upper tier of the Western Conference standings. Since coming back, they dropped an ugly 5-3 game to Washington, then lost 4-3 in overtime to Columbus before getting back on track with a 6-1 win over Chicago.

Goaltending has been an important part of the Preds' success. Juuse Saros is among the league leaders in minutes played and boasts a 2.24 Goals-Against Average and .925 Save Percentage to go along with his 9.4 Goals Saved Above Expected — and 16 wins. He should get the nod in Vegas on Tuesday as the Predators embark on a three-game road trip. They'll also visit Los Angeles on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday.

In the middle of the pack offensively, the Predators score by committee. Five players are hovering close to a point a game, and Filip Forsberg leads the team with 15 goals.

Undrafted 24-year-old rookie Tanner Jeannot has packed a punch in more ways than one. His 102 hits and 45 penalty minutes rank him near the top 10 in the league in both categories. He also has 10 goals and 10 assists, including six points in his last five games and has seen his ice time climb as he cements a spot in Nashville's top six.

The Predators are a tough team to play against — literally. They lead the NHL in penalty minutes and are in the middle of the pack in hits-per-60, well ahead of the 29th-place Golden Knights.

Between injuries and COVID challenges, Nashville has been through a lot this season — and prevailed. Now, things are looking up as they head west. As of Monday evening, defenseman Dante Fabbro is Nashville's only roster player who's currently in COVID protocol.

Vegas Golden Knights

Of course, injuries are always an issue when it comes to the Vegas Golden Knights. Last week, the club announced that Max Pacioretty is on injured reserve after undergoing wrist surgery. Meanwhile, the statuses of Mark Stone and Robin Lehner are more nebulous.

Stone has missed four of his team's last five games and is said to be 'doubtful' for Tuesday due to his upper-body issue. Lehner is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He hasn't played in four games and is also said to be doubtful against the Predators.

That means Laurent Brossoit is likely to make his fifth straight start, and 15th of the year, in net against Nashville. The 28-year-old now looks poised to surpass his personal high of 21 starts in a season. And even though he gave up five goals in his last outing, an overtime win for Winnipeg on Sunday, he has mostly been solid — delivering wins for Vegas with an 8-3-1 record.

Even with so many top stars bouncing in and out of the lineup, Vegas is still the fourth highest-scoring team in the league, and their goal rate is on the rise. Since Dec. 1, Vegas has averaged 4.21 goals per game, compared to 3.36 for Nashville. An improved power play has helped, but there isn't much difference between what the Golden Knights and Predators have done with the man advantage over the last month. Both are sitting right around a 28% Success Rate, averaging close to three power-plays per game.

Predators vs. Golden Knights Pick

These two teams have met just once so far this year — a 5-2 win for the Golden Knights in Nashville on Nov. 24. Vegas had a 35-28 shot advantage — and also had Stone, Pacioretty and Lehner in the lineup.

It's tempting to back the Golden Knights with home-ice advantage. They're playing well despite their injury issues, and on the rare occasions when they do lose, it's usually by one goal.

But Nashville has a more complete lineup right now, along with more reliable goaltending. Also, the Predators may be able to use their physical game to wear down the home team and turn the flow of the game in their favor.

At +140, oddsmakers are giving Nashville just a 41.7% chance of a moneyline win. That's good value.

Back the road team for the upset here.

Pick: Predators (+140); play down to +120

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