The Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes will renew their desert rivalry in Glendale Friday night as both clubs look to break out of mini 1-3 SU slumps.
The Golden Knights took six of the eight meetings last season, covering in three of them, and are massive NHL betting road favorites tonight.
Can Vegas improve on its Bottom 5 goals against per game mark and start climbing the Pacific standings? Can the Coyotes continue to play decent hockey (nine points last eight games) and reward ML backers?
Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Golden Knights vs. Coyotes on Friday, December 3.
Golden Knights vs Coyotes odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
The Coyotes opened as +170 road dogs on Thursday night but moved to +190 by Friday morning. The total opened at 6 and leans heavily to the Under.
Golden Knights vs Coyotes predictions
Predictions made on 12/03/2021 at 9:40 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Golden Knights vs Coyotes game info
• Location: Gila River Arena, Glendale, AZ
• Date: Friday, December 3, 2021
• Puck drop: 9:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN+, Hulu
Golden Knights vs Coyotes betting preview
Golden Knights: Alec Martinez D (Out), William Karlsson F (Out), Jack Eichel F (Out).
Coyotes: Johan Larsson F (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Golden Knights vs Coyotes head-to-head record
Golden Knights: 6-2 SU, 23 goals for.
Coyotes: 2-6 SU, 21 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The home team is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings. Find more NHL betting trends for Golden Knights vs. Coyotes.
Golden Knights vs Coyotes picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Arizona Coyotes were 1-14 SU to begin the year. They were an auto-fade team and were enticing longshot searchers with their +200 to +300 moneylines. Fast forward to December and the Yotes have taken a point in five of their last eight and are 4-3-1 over that stretch, which includes wins at +271 (vs. Jets), +220 (vs. Kings), +127 (vs. Red Wings), and +272 (vs. Blues).
Tonight, Arizona comes in as a +190 home dog, which is a pretty high price considering it closed at +145 in its last home game facing a decent Columbus team that wasn't on a back-to-back.
Looking at the Coyotes' last eight games, they sit 16th in point percentage and are allowing 2.63 goals per game, which is a Top-10 mark. The offense could use some motivation — facing a Vegas team that is allowing 3.50 goals per game over the last three weeks could help — but with wins at 1-0, 2-1, 2-1, and 3-2, this Arizona team has shown it can cash tickets with its goaltending.
Rookie Karel Vejmelka has been the team’s MVP to date and is coming off a 46-save, 1-0 shutout of Winnipeg on Monday. His 2.80 goals-against average is more of an indicator about his team — but his .916 save percentage ranks just below former Vezina winner Connor Hellebuyck. His goals saved above expected per 60 is 0.263 (per Moneypuck), which is better than Robin Lehner’s mark of 0.200.
That brings us to Vegas' No. 1 goalkeeper. Lehner has been league-average this season, as his .909 SV% and 3.10 GAA are worse than backup Laurent Brossoit’s numbers, and Over his last seven starts, Lehner is sporting a 3.63 GAA, is 3-4 SU, and has allowed more than three goals in four of those seven matches.
Vegas might actually go with backup Brossoit tonight (it has yet to be decided) after Lehner gave up five goals to Anaheim two days ago. He’s 3-3 SU on the year with a GAA closer to 3.00 than 2.50.
Both teams are struggling on the power play as Vegas has scored a PP marker in just two of its last 11 games and ranks 25th in the league, while Arizona sits a sad 29th.
Vegas’ offense has had success at even strength but as we mentioned, goals against are a problem. The Knights have surrendered 53 even-strength goals, which ranks in the Bottom 5 of the league, but Arizona has also struggled to keep 5-on-5 goals out and have a similar number to the Knights.
Defensively, these two teams are quite similar in the goals allowed department and both have Fenwick For percentages below 50. Neither team is stout on the back end but at +190 for a home dog — who has the advantage in net — we’re riding. This moneyline price is bang on (as Vegas was +140 at St. Louis and Arizona was +275 in the same spot) but the Coyotes have been playing better hockey of late and are worth a flier at this price versus a team that has been getting healthier but is still playing irresponsible defensively.
Prediction: Coyotes ML (+190)
This is another total that has us split. If we conclude that Arizona is going to have a chance at winning this game, the Under would have to be our lean. In the 10 one-goal games it's played (5-3-1 record) the Under is 8-2. The Arizona offense hasn’t scored more than two goals in eight of its last 11 games, it has a Bottom-4 power play and has scored the third-fewest 5-on-5 goals in hockey.
We’d be surprised if anyone could name two players on the team’s second line. There’s a better chance of Arizona winning this game with an Under than an Over, that’s for sure — Arizona is 9-13-1 O/U on the season.
Unfortunately, there are arguments for the Over as well. The Golden Knights are one of the more generous teams in the league and are one of only three clubs that allow more than three goals a game while also scoring over three goals per game. On the season, Vegas is 13-8-1 O/U, which is one of the better Over records in the league.
Goaltending isn’t the Knights' forte but with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone back, the offense is starting to look like last year’s version of the team that finished third in goals per game.
The only variable that is giving us a lean on this play is the number. If this were 5.5, we’d pass entirely, but at 6 there is a little room for the Under here. If Arizona plays decently, the probability of the Under hitting is high. There is also an outcome where Vegas could win 4-1 or even 4-2 for a push.
There are more possibilities for the Under than the Over here and that’s likely why we have seen the Under price open at -120 and start to hit 5.5 at some recreational books.
Prediction: Under 6 (-120)
Taking a big underdog isn’t for everyone. Sure the price is fantastic but if we’re sitting through the game and watching the product, we’ll soon realize why we’re getting a home dog at nearly +200.
Home teams are winning at a 56.5% rate, which is slightly above the normal number of 55% over the last eight seasons, while underdogs at home are covering at nearly 60% on the season.
Arizona has been playing better of late and has covered the +1.5 puck line in six of its last eight games — with those only two losses coming on a backend of a back-to-back and a 5-3 loss with an empty-net goal.
If Vejmelka can build off his shutout of the Jets and keep the 'Yotes in this one, the +1.5 (-130) offers a little more wiggle room for those who are unable to pull the trigger on the Arizona ML.
Pick: Coyotes +1.5 (-130)
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