Free NHL Consensus Playoffs Picks: Golden Knights vs Jets (Conference Finals – Game 1)
Round 3 of the NHL Playoffs started on Friday night with the Eastern Conference Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals. The Western Conference Finals kicks off on Saturday between Winnipeg and Vegas. The game will be at 7:00 PM ET on NBC. Here is my best hockey bet for May 12. Odds can be found at the BetOnline Sportsbook.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Winnipeg Jets Predictions
The Jets finished the season with the second best record in the NHL at 52-20-10. Winnipeg took out the Minnesota Wild in five games in the first round. The Jets most impressive series win came in seven games against the President’s Trophy winning Nashville Predators in the second round. Winnipeg finished their second round series on Thursday.
Vegas finished the season at 51-24-7, which is extremely impressive for a team in their inaugural season. The Golden Knights ended up first place in the Pacific Division. Vegas beat the Los Angeles Kings in four games in the first round. The Golden Knights faced the San Jose Sharks in the second round and beat them in six games. The Golden Knights have not played since Game 6 against the Sharks on April 6.
Winnipeg went 1-1-1 against the Golden Knights during the regular season. Winnipeg went 1-0-1 at home against Vegas. David Perron had two goals and two assists during the regular season series and William Karlsson scored three goals for Vegas. Patrik Laine scored two goals and had two assists. Kyle Connor had three goals and an assist.
Dmitry Kulikov is out for Game 1 against the Golden Knights. Clayton Stoner is out for Vegas. William Carrier is questionable for Game 1. None of these injuries are significant enough to change the team’s performance.
Connor Hellebuyck is going to be given the start for Game 1. Hellebuyck has been playing at an amazing level. He has gone 8-4 with a .927 save percentage and a 2.25 GAA. Marc-Andre Fleury is playing on a completely different level. Fleury has a .951 save percentage and a GAA of 1.53. Fleury has gone 8-2 in the playoffs.
Vegas Golden Knights (+127) at Winnipeg Jets (-140) Betting Odds
The Golden Knights are listed as a +127 money line, which gives them a 44 percent chance of winning. The money line seems fair to me because of Winnipeg’s recent performance and home ice advantage. The Jets opened at a -145, which means the teams have gotten closer together in the odds. Winnipeg should be able to perform as favorites due to their better final record and home ice advantage.
The Jets offense has been firing on all cylinders since the playoffs started. Both Winnipeg and Vegas play fast paced games, which will be interesting to watch. Winnipeg’s white out crowd gives them a great advantage. The Jets are at a slight disadvantage because the Golden Knights have had more days off, but I do not think that will matter much once the game gets going. I believe the Jets getting going quickly at home and jump out to an early 1-0 series lead.