Golden Knights vs. Wild NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Game 4 in Minnesota (Saturday, May 22)

Golden Knights vs. Wild NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Game 4 in Minnesota (Saturday, May 22) article feature image
Credit:

Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and teammate Nick Holden celebrate their victory.

  • The Minnesota Wild are out to avoid a 3-1 deficit on Saturday night against the Vegas Golden Knights.
  • The Golden Knights rallied to take Game 3 in Minnesota and hope to give themselves a big advantage on the road in Game 4.
  • Matt Russell breaks down where he sees betting value in this matchup below.

Golden Knights vs. Wild Odds

Golden Knights Odds -120
Wild Odds +103
Over/Under 5.5 (-106 /-115)
Time Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
TV NBC
Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings.

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

The old idiom about not getting ahead of yourself was never more true than on Thursday when the Minnesota Wild thought they had the Vegas Golden Knights defeated in their NHL playoff series opener.

Truthfully, when the puck hit the back of Marc-Andre Fleury’s net for the third time in the first period, I thought they had defeated Vegas as well. However, mere seconds later, Peter DeBoer challenged the goal and it was wiped off the scoreboard when it was determined that the Wild had gone offside.

The play being offside had nothing to do with the goal as it was scored, so the Wild were victimized by one of the worst rules in all of sports.

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Vegas Rallies For Impressive Game 3 Triumph

The Golden Knights were well within their rights to call for the review, and by the letter of the law, it was an easy call. That said, they would have maybe called for the review no matter what, out of desperation to avoid going down 3-0 in the contest.

That lead, while not insurmountable, has a predictably better chance of holding up than a 2-0 score, which is commonly referred to as the worst advantage in hockey and soccer. And sure enough, that situation struck again. Vegas came out of the first intermission with a new lease on life, taking little time to bury three goals to take the lead.

The Golden Knights eventually closed out the Wild to earn a 5-3 win, thus take the series lead, but it was the first time in the three games they had the edge in expected goals at even strength. 

In fact, here’s a look at some of the predictive stats these teams have accumulated:

Stat Knights Wild
High-Danger Chances For 5v5 22 28
High-Danger Goals 5v5 3 2
High-Danger Conversion Rate 5v5 13.6% 7.1%
Expected Goals 5v5 per game 1.9 1.84
Expected Goals Share 5v5 50.8% 49.2%
Power Play % 10% 0%
Starting Goaltender GSAA/60 min. 0.73 0.45
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Minnesota Facing Must-Win Situation in Showdown

If you’re the Wild, you have to feel pretty good about the way you’ve played in this series, expect for the part about scoring goals. The two easiest ways to score goals are by converting on your quality High-Danger Chances during 5-on-5 play, as well as scoring on the power play. 

The Wild have done enough in the offensive-creation category at even strength, getting 28 High-Danger Chances over the three games. Better than Vegas’s 22 HDC so far. However, the Wild went scoreless on these chances in the first two games, and while their two goals came on High-Danger Chances on Thursday, the Golden Knights matched them with two of their own.

The league average for converting these opportunities is 14 percent, which means the Golden Knights are doing what they’re supposed to, while Minnesota isn’t doing enough. That’s especially the case since the Wild were actually better than average at converting High-Danger Chances during the regular season.

If you’ve seen the work of Marc-Andre Fleury this week, you know he’s mostly to blame for keeping the Wild at bay. 

So, who’s to blame for the Wild only having five power-play chances through three games? They’re creating the same, if not more scoring opportunities as the Knights, who have had twice the power-play opportunities. Given both teams came into the series with the same power-play efficiency, maybe it will take the Wild five more power plays for them to convert as well.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

This is the point where we’re obligated to mention the desperation factor. The Wild don’t want to head back to Vegas down 3-1 in the series. That’s something the sports talk guys will say when they give their take on this game.

Would we rather they mention the predictive metrics that make the Wild a small favorite in a game they’re lined at even-money? Sure, but beggars can’t be choosers. 

If water can find its level here and the Wild can work their way back to their standard conversion rates, both at even strength and the power play, then they have a chance to at least send this series to a seventh game. The current series price of +300 odds and their pre-series price of +200 would look good.

However, Minnesota needs to get on the board early again in Game 4, and this time, not feel unnecessarily comfortable upon doing so. At a slightly better price this time around, I’m back on the Wild at +100 to even the series, and make it a best-of-three showdown.

Pick: Minnesota ML (+100 or better)

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