There is a Western Conference tilt on Tuesday evening with the Central Division’s Nashville Predators hosting the Pacific Division’s Vegas Golden Knights. Each point matters during the regular season, which makes this game a thrilling matchup considering each of these team’s spots in the playoff picture.
Will Nashville take care of business as a short home favorite, or can Vegas start the second half of the campaign on a high note? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Golden Knights vs Predators on February 7.
Golden Knights vs Predators best odds
Golden Knights vs Predators picks and predictions
The backbone of the Nashville Predators is goaltender Juuse Saros, standing as the main reason this club is flirting with a playoff spot. Through 37 starts between the pipes this season, Saros boasts a .920 SV% and 2.74 GAA.
Saros entered the break in particularly dominant form, going 6-3 with a .932 SV% and 2.69 GAA over his last nine starts. Based on his metrics, regression is unlikely for the Preds’ netminder.
Among starting goaltenders, Saros ranks seventh in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5. This strong play is likely to continue vs. Vegas, a team he has performed excellently against.
Through eight career starts against the Golden Knights, Saros boasts a .929 SV% and 2.87 GAA. There were six or fewer total goals scored in six of those eight outings.
Across the ice, rookie netminder Logan Thompson is slated to start between the pipes for Vegas. Currently in the Calder Trophy conversation, Thompson is 19-13-3 with a .913 SV% and 2.69 GAA through 35 appearances in the crease this season.
With that said, the Knights’ elite defensive play under new head coach Bruce Cassidy has played a large part in those tremendous numbers. At 5-on-5, Vegas ranks fifth in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).
However, the Knights’ offense has gone stale over the last month, particularly with the lack of production from the top-six forwards. To make matters worse for Vegas, star winger Mark Stone is out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery.
With this combination of strong defensive play and a struggling offense, there have now been six or fewer total goals scored in eight of the Knights’ last 10 games.
My best bet: Under 6 (-118 at BarStool)
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Golden Knights vs Predators moneyline analysis
I would lean toward the Golden Knights moneyline in this contest, particularly because their defense is far stronger than Nashville’s. However, the significance of Mark Stone’s absence cannot be understated.
Not only does he produce almost a point-per-game, but he is also their best two-way forward and is instrumental in making life difficult for the opposition on both ends of the ice. He last played on January 12 against the Florida Panthers, and Vegas is just 1-5-2 in the eight games since then.
That is not a coincidence and is the main reason that Nashville is priced as the favorite (along with the fact that this game is at Bridgestone Arena). I still think the Knights are the better overall team than Nashville, but we cannot trust them at the moment until they figure out how to play without Stone in the lineup.
Golden Knights vs Predators Over/Under analysis
The main concern in taking the Under in this contest is Nashville’s blue line. At 5-on-5, the Preds rank just 26th in the league in xGA/60.
With that said, Saros is no stranger to bailing out poor play in front of him, and this contest should not go any differently. The Knights’ offense is struggling mightily as of late, and going on the road against Saros is probably not the place where they figure things out.
Golden Knights vs Predators betting trend to know
There have been six or fewer total goals scored in eight of Vegas’ last 10 games. Find more NHL betting trends for Golden Knights vs. Predators. Find more NHL betting trends for Golden Knights vs Predators.
Golden Knights vs Predators game info
|Location:||Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN|
|Date:||Tuesday, February 7, 2023|
|Puck drop:||8:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||ATTSN-RM, Bally Sports South|