Wild vs Golden Knights Game 1 Picks and Predictions: Staying Tame In Vegas

May 16, 2021 |
Wild vs Golden Knights Game 1 Picks and Predictions: Staying Tame In Vegas
The Vegas Golden Knights finished the season as the No. 2 team in the NHL, but they'll have their hands full against a Minnesota squad that has won five of the last six head-to-head matchups.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Vegas Golden Knights finished the season as the No. 2 team in the NHL, but they'll have their hands full against a Minnesota squad that has won five of the last six head-to-head matchups.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The NHL playoffs have three games staggered over the course of Sunday, including a 3 p.m. ET matchup between the Minnesota Wild and Las Vegas Golden Knights.

NHL betting lines have the Knights installed as -175 favorites for the first game in this best-of-seven series.

Here are our best free Wild vs. Golden Knights picks and predictions for NHL playoff action on Sunday, May 16. 

Wild vs Golden Knights game info

Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Date: Sunday, May 16, 2021
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: NBC

Wild vs Golden Knights series odds

Wild: +183
Golden Knights: -266

Wild vs Golden Knights odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

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NHL Sharp Money and Line Movement Report

By Patrick Everson

As of 12:45 p.m. ET today, Vegas is down to a -160 favorite, after opening -180 Friday afternoon at PointsBet USA. That said, bettors are still on the home chalk in Game 1. "Eighty-three percent of tickets and 80 percent of handle on the Knights," PointsBet's Wyatt Yearout said. The total is at 5.5, seeing only a price adjustment from Over -120 to Over -115, with 57 percent of tickets and 71 percent of money on the Over.

Check out the full line movement for this game

Wild at Golden Knights betting preview

Key Injuries

Wild: None.
Golden Knights: Tomas Nosek LW (Questionable), Max Pacioretty LW (Questionable), Alec Martinez D (Questionable), Alex Tuch RW (Questionable), Ryan Reaves RW (Out).

Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Wild are 9-24 in their last 33 playoff games as an underdog. Find more NHL betting trends for Wild vs. Golden Knights.

Moneyline pick

Vegas ended the regular season with the best goal differential (plus-67) and second-best point percentage (.732) in the NHL. The Knights have been phenomenal on both ends of the ice but they might have a bad matchup on their hands against the Wild, who have won five of the last six games in the head-to-head, with the lone Vegas victory during that span coming in overtime.

That said, much of the Wild's success against the Knights has come at home in Minnesota, and the Knights are a completely different monster in Vegas where they have gone 43-17 in their last 60 games.

The Knights have a small edge up front, finishing the regular season ranked third in the league in scoring with 3.39 goals per game, compared to Minnesota's 3.21 gpg. But the big advantage for Vegas comes between the pipes, where Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to get the start this afternoon. 

Fleury was outstanding this season going 26-10 with a 1.98 goal-against average and a save percentage of .928. Perhaps even more importantly, the three-time Stanley Cup champion knows what it takes to win in the playoffs. 

Wild netminder Cam Talbot has been solid this season, going 19-8-5 with a 2.63 GAA and a .915 SV%, but he's not on Fleury's level and he doesn't have anywhere near as much postseason experience.

Lack of playoff experience could be a key factor in this contest with four of Minnesota's five highest scorers being 24-years-old or younger. Look for that to make the difference in this one as the battle-hardened Knights draw first blood at home. 

PREDICTION: Las Vegas (-175)

Over/Under pick

Both of these teams have looked good defensively but they've also been red-hot when it comes to putting the puck in the net.

The Knights are very deep up front and have averaged a whopping 3.9 goals per game over their last 20 contests. The Wild aren't far behind that torrid pace, notching 3.85 goals per game over their previous 20 contests. 

While Minnesota has played well against Vegas this season, Talbot has not. The veteran goalie has a 3.26 GAA with a save percentage of .898 in six games versus the Knights this season.

With the Wild going 9-2 to the Over in their last 11 games, back the Over again this afternoon. 

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-120)

Wild vs Golden Knights betting card

  • Las Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-120)

Picks made on 5/16/2021 at 10:10 a.m. ET

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