Of all the statistics that stand out between the Golden Knights and the Coyotes it is goals allowed per game. Vegas is No. 1 in the league in that category (2.26). The Coyotes rank No. 19 in that same category, allowing 3.00. In fact, there is no major offensive or defensive category where the Coyotes can compete with the Golden Knights. But should this translate into a slam-dunk for Vegas?
Free Picks: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Arizona Coyotes
Vegas is clearly the better team on paper
The best sports bet today is taking Vegas with the Money Line. They are battling with Colorado for first place in the West while Arizona is struggling to hold onto the last playoff position.
There is only one small category where Arizona has an advantage. Their power play is ranked No. 21st, while Vegas is ranked No. 25. Otherwise, the Golden Knights are the superior team and one of the favorites in the NHL Stanley Cup odds.
When I make my NHL picks, I check the head-to-head games. The last time these two teams met, the Golden Knights shut out the Coyotes 1-0 on Jan. 24. The only victory for Arizona in the head-to-head meetings came two days earlier. In each game, except the last one, the teams combined for at least six goals in the game.
Vegas can throw out either Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner in goal. Arizona’s No. 1 goaltender Darcy Kuemper suffered a lower-body injury on March 10 and he is listed as week-to-week. Adin Hill has been getting most of the starts since then with mixed results.
The Coyotes have been unlucky in goal because Antti Raanta (.913 save percentage) is injured too. The only caution with taking Vegas is that the Golden Knights have lost four of their last five games.
On Wednesday, Vegas was without defenseman Alec Martinez (undisclosed). It’s a huge loss for Vegas because he had six points in his last seven games.
But Vegas has typically bounced back the next game after a loss and I am encouraged by the fact that Vegas had a season-high 51 shots on goal in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Blues. They just ran into a hot goaltender in Jordan Biddington.
For my Free Picks and predictions, I can’t ignore the troubles in goal for Arizona combined with Vegas’ great defense. Vegas is also top 5 in shots-per game.
That has made it a rather safe bet to take Vegas with the Money Line. I’m staying away from the puck line. On the total goals, I’m taking the Over (5.5) (-118) with 10Bet.
- Vegas is 14-6 SU in their last 20 games at home.
- The total has gone Under in five of Vegas’ last seven games.
- Arizona is 6-2 SU in their last eight games.
- The total has gone Over in five of Arizona’s last six games on the road.
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I live in the land of ice and snow in Toronto, Canada's largest city. I can't skate very well, but I know sports, especially hockey, after a long career writing about the Toronto Maple Leafs and other teams at the country's largest newspaper, the Toronto Star. Betting on sports can be a rewarding experience when you understand the trends and underlying characteristics of the teams and players before laying down a bet. That's how I hope to point you in the right direction.