NHL Best Bets

You can feel the playoff heat starting to pick up around the league. There are only five games tonight, but one of the teams that is playing seems desperate to get back in the win column, and that team is the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights are three points ahead of the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference wild card picture, and they are an interesting team for an NHL best bet.  While it doesn’t seem like the Blues will actually catch them, there is no guarantee that they can’t. 

The Blues have won back-to-back games but have a tough matchup at home against the Carolina Hurricanes, who are trying to catch the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division. I won’t be touching that game, however. I am keeping all of my focus on the Golden Knights matchup. 


Minnesota at Vegas (-170, 6)

The Vegas Golden Knights are coming off a three-game losing streak where all three games were played on the road. They fell short against the Coyotes, Canucks, and Oilers, and have now put themselves in a situation that is essentially a must-win. 

In their last 10 games, the Golden Knights are 6-3-1, and they haven’t struggled finding offense. In that span, they have been averaging 3.30 goals per game. It’s been Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson providing the production. Marchessault and Karlsson have each tallied nine points in their last 10 games. Eichel has scored eight goals with four assists for 12 points in that span. 

That said, Vegas needs to clean it up defensively. In fairness, they have been without one of their most important defensemen, Alex Pietrangelo, for the past 10 days. It’s clear that their blue line needs him. This team has allowed 16 goals against in their last three games. 

The Minnesota Wild have gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, but the only player that the Golden Knights need to worry about is Kirill Kaprizov who has seven goals and seven assists in this span. As a team, the Wild aren’t as dangerous offensively, especially as of late. They’re only scoring 2.63 goals per game in this span. Marc-Andre Fleury is getting the start tonight. His latest stretch of games hasn’t been pretty. Fleury has skated to a 1-2-1 record in his last four starts, but has struggled with a 4.64 goals against average and a .840 save percentage. 

Logan Thompson is the expected starter for Vegas, and his recent play has been much better than Fleury’s. Thompson has earned a 5-2-0 record while boasting a 2.46 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. To me, Vegas has the edge tonight in most areas, and they know how important these two points are. 

Give me the Golden Knights. 

NHL Best Bet: Vegas Golden Knights to win in regulation -115 (play to -130)

April Record: 12-4 (+7.60 units)

2023-24 record: 141–136 (-21.11 units)