With five games to play, the Vegas Golden Knights are clinging to first place in the West Division as Wednesday’s opponent, the third-place Minnesota Wild, are just four points back and coming off a big, come-from-behind 6-5 win on Monday.
Although the Wild have taken all five of the previous meetings, the Knights are +525 to win the Cup, compared to the Wild who sit with the league’s 11th-highest odds at +1,700.
Here are our free picks and predictions for Vegas Golden Knights vs Minnesota Wild for Wednesday, May 5 (8:00 p.m. ET).
Golden Knights vs Wild odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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NHL Sharp Money and Line Movement ReportBy Patrick Everson
Vegas landed on the TwinSpires odds board at -121 and dialed back a few cents to -115, where the moneyline rests at 4:15 p.m. ET. Still, ticket count is 3/1 and money approaching 4/1 on the Golden Knights. "The public is all over VGK to bounce back here," TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said, alluding to the Knights' third-period implosion two nights ago, turning a 5-3 lead into a 6-5 loss against the Wild. The total opened at 5.5 and is up to 6, with 80 percent of tickets/73 percent of money on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
Golden Knights at Wild betting preview
Golden Knights: Max Pacioretty F (questionable), Ryan Reaves F (out), Tomas Nosek F (out).
Wild: Marcus Johannson F (questionable)
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 7-0 in the Wild’s last seven games as a home underdog. Find more NHL betting trends for Golden Knights vs. Wild.
The first-place Golden Knights were riding an NHL-best 10-game winning streak just a week ago, but have now dropped two of three with that one win coming in extra time against the Coyotes. It won’t be easy for Vegas to get back to its winning ways against a Minnesota team that is crazy undervalued heading into the playoffs and has had the Knights’ number all year.
Minnesota skated away with a dramatic 6-5 win versus the Knights on Monday that included a three-goal third period. The win was the Wild’s fifth straight against their West Division rival. Minnesota hasn’t blown the Knights out by any means, but it has found ways to win close games with all five victories coming by one or two goals.
Don’t sleep on Minnesota, as the Wild are 33-14-4 (+11.6u) and playing in one of the toughest divisions in the league. They roll four lines deep and contribute up and down the lineup with the bottom-six forwards racking up three goals and three assists on Monday.
Statistically, they are league-average in expected goal differential, outside the Top 8 in expected goals for and against but run one of the best 5-on-5 offenses in the league. Very few teams match up well against the Knights' stellar 5-on-5 play but Minnesota has shown it can beat Vegas at its strengths.
The schedule also favors the home team on Wednesday, as Minnesota will enjoy Minneapolis for three more games and won’t hit the road again until May 12. Vegas doesn’t have a terrible schedule, but the Knights do head home after Wednesday’s tilt for a two-game set against a possible first-round opponent in St. Louis. It will also be the beginning of a four-game, six-day stretch to finish out the season. If Vegas isn't careful, they could be playing the Wild In the first round, which wouldn't be ideal for the Stanley Cup favorites.
Trends are what we make of them, but it’s worth noting that home underdogs in the NHL have hit at 64.2 percent on the year, which is a tough number to dismiss.
PREDICTION: Minnesota ML (+100)
The Wild have been one of the most profitable teams on the ML this year, but they’ve also been cashing Over tickets all season. With a season mark of 31-19-1 O/U heading into Wednesday’s tilt, Minnesota could finish the year as the league’s second-best Over team.
Wild goalie Cam Talbot is 18-7-4 on the year but sports a very average 2.57 GAA with a .917 save percentage. He sits 21st in goals saved above expected/60. He also ranks 32nd in high-danger save percentage out of goalies who have made at least 10 starts. If there is one knock on the Wild heading into the postseason, it’s their goaltending.
The Knights have the league’s second-best even-strength offense at 2.7 expected goals per game. Per Money Puck, the Golden Knights’ expected goals against per game surprisingly sits at 2.39, which is one spot worse than the New Jersey Devils.
Marc-Andre Fleury will likely draw the start and even though he hasn’t allowed more than two goals in six straight starts, the veteran "guardien de but" has allowed four goals twice over his last four meetings with Minnesota.
The Wild are also riding a 6-0 O/U streak and are 8-2 O/U across their last 10. The power play has also been lit of late going 8-for-22 (36.4 percent) in their last 10. The PP was cause for concern earlier in the year, but Minnesota has turned it into a strength down the stretch.
Is it greedy we want another five-goal first period on Wednesday?
PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)
Golden Knights vs Wild betting card
- Minnesota ML (+100)
- Over 5.5 (-110)
Picks made on 5/5/2021 at 5:25 a.m. ET
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