Stars vs Golden Knights Game 1: NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction

Stars vs Golden Knights Game 1: NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction article feature image

Pictured: Jason Robertson. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

  • The Western Conference Finals get underway on Friday night.
  • The Vegas Golden Knights host the Dallas Stars and although Vegas is favored, our expert sees more value on the total.
  • Continue reading to see Ryan Dadoun's best bet for Stars vs. Golden Knights Game 1.

Stars vs. Golden Knights Odds

Stars Odds+105
Golden Knights Odds-126
Over/Under5.5 (-110 / -110)
Time8:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

For the second time in four years, the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights will face off in the Western Conference Finals. The Stars took the previous series in five contests, but both teams have had significant turnover since. Let's dig into the current matchup and come up with a betting pick for Game 1 between the Stars and Golden Knights.

Dallas Stars

Perhaps the biggest change on the Stars side is Jake Oettinger, who was part of Dallas' 2020 run to the Stanley Cup Final, but didn't start in a postseason contest. This time around, Oettinger is Dallas' backbone. That said, it's fair to wonder how he'll fare against Vegas.

Oettinger came through for Dallas in Game 7 of its second-round series versus Seattle, stopping 22 of 23 shots en route to a 2-1 victory. However, he has a subpar 2.75 GAA and a .903 save percentage through 13 outings in this postseason. Contrast that with his 2.37 GAA and .919 save percentage in 62 regular-season contests. Perhaps he'll step up against Vegas, but the Golden Knights' offense has been rolling in the postseason with 3.73 goals per game.

That puts more pressure on Dallas' offense to perform. Fortunately for the Stars, they have some prime candidates to do just that.

At the age of 38, Joe Pavelski is working hard to finally win the Stanley Cup. During the second round, he had eight goals and nine points in seven games. With his level of motivation and experience, it wouldn't be at all surprising if he posts another strong series. Roope Hintz is also looking like an early Conn Smythe Trophy contender with nine goals and 19 points through 13 postseason contests.

Perhaps the biggest X-Factor in this series is Jason Robertson. He has 12 points in 13 playoff outings this year, so it would be unfair to suggest he's been cold, but he's been limited to two goals, which is unusual for the star forward. He's tied for second on the team with 37 shots, so it's entirely possible the dam will break at some point and the goals will start flooding in.

Vegas Golden Knights

Even if Robertson breaks out of his goal drought, Vegas has the potential to keep up. The Golden Knights have been firing on all cylinders with five different players recording at least five goals in the playoffs.

Jack Eichel has been leading the charge. The 26-year-old has had to wait a while to finally make it to the postseason, but he's thriving under the spotlight with six goals and 14 points in 11 contests. Despite missing the second half of the 2022-23 campaign because of a back injury, Mark Stone has also been effective with five goals and 12 points in 11 outings.

The Golden Knights have needed that offensive support because they've been battered by goaltending injuries. They've gone the entire 2022-23 campaign without their number one goaltender, Robin Lehner (hip), and their number two netminder, Logan Thompson, hasn't played at all in the postseason (lower body).

That left them with Laurent Brossoit, who posted a 3.18 GAA and a .894 save percentage in eight playoff contests before he went down with a lower-body injury. Fourth-string goaltender Adin Hill took over and has actually been good with a 2.19 GAA and a .934 save percentage in five outings. Even still, it's hard to count on Hill over Oettinger, so Vegas will likely need its forwards to make up the difference.

Fortunately, they've typically been capable of that.

Stars vs. Golden Knights Pick

With the series starting in Vegas, the Golden Knights are mild favorites for Game 1. I'm not confident the Golden Knights will win, but I do think it's fair to say they have a modestly better chance of opening the series with a victory.

I think we're going to see a decent amount of scoring in this game. These squads have combined to score 7.35 goals per game in the playoffs. Combine that with Oettinger's struggles this postseason and Hill's lack of playoff experience, and suddenly taking over 5.5 goals looks solid to me.

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.