Stars vs. Golden Knights Odds & Betting Picks: How to Bet the Totals in Game 4

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Blake Comeau

Sep 12, 2020, 08:53 AM EDT

The Dallas Stars shocked the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 when Alexander Radulov’s shot off the rush beat Robin Lehner just 31 seconds into overtime to give the Stars a 2-1 series lead.

Vegas came into the series as prohibitive favorites (-240) to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Will the magical run of the Stars continue or will Vegas even the series? That remains to be seen. We’ll take a look at other ways to bet this huge game.

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Over 5.5 Goals (+120)

This series has gone under the total in the first three games, so it may seem weird to go over the total in Game 4. However, there were things we saw in Game 3 that lead me to believe that goals might be coming in this series.

Game 3 was actually scoreless until the final 20 seconds of the second period. What seemed like an easy, sleepy game for under bettors actually turned into a bit of a sweat.

While Game 1 and 2 were slower in pace and scoring chances, Game 3 was a bit more wide open. Game 3 saw the teams combine for 4.32 expected goals at even strength, almost a goal more than Game 2 and two goals more than Game 1.

The only reason we didn’t see more goals is due to the goaltending.

If you watched Game 3, you saw that both goalies looked slightly uncomfortable late in the game. Obviously, speculating on injuries isn’t an ideal betting strategy, but with the condensed schedule this whole postseason tournament and the quality of chances improving, both Lehner and Anton Khudobin’s bodies are definitely feeling it. Lehner in particular didn’t look sharp on Radulov’s overtime goal.

I wouldn’t expect either goalie to miss Game 4 as both finished the game in the crease, but we’re looking for minor things that could make a difference.

As the series opens up in terms of quality and quantity of chances, I expect the goals will follow as well. In a series that’s 3/3 on unders, I’m going contrarian here and taking the over.

If you’re looking for something a little safer, you can find over 5 goals at -121 on DraftKings. Games landing on five goals in hockey is extremely common as you’ll lock in at least a push if both teams score twice, so you get some protection. That being said, I’ll still take the plus-odds at 5.5.

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Vegas Team Total Over 3 (-114)

Basically everything I said above applies here. There is no better team in the NHL than the Vegas Golden Knights in terms of generating high quality scoring chances. They constantly play with the puck in the offensive zone and wear down their opponents defensively.

The past two games of this series have been no different. Game 2 saw Vegas get 60.7% of the expected goals at even strength and 66.7% of the high danger chances. Game 3 was slightly less impressive, but Vegas still had over 52% of the expected goals and almost 58% of the high danger chances.

According to the Action Network Pro Report, early action from the sharps like the favorited Golden Knights to win this game, despite the lofty price on the moneyline. If sharps are willing to lay this much juice, it means they really don’t see this Vegas team falling behind 3-1 in the series.

That being said, it’s hard to win a game in the NHL without scoring at least three goals. Couple that with me leaning towards the over in the game, and you can see where I’m going with this.

Vegas is shooting a paltry, unsustainable 4.23% at 5 vs. 5 in this series. Their top goal scorer from the regular season, Max Pacioretty, has been held off the scoresheet in his last six games. Their second best goalscorer, Reilly Smith, hasn’t found the net in nine contests. Things are bound to change for Vegas, and I think we’ve seen their offense awaken a bit these past two games.

I think Vegas wins the game, and betting over 3 total goals is a way to lay less juice than taking them on the moneyline. Just hope they don’t win 2-1.

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