We have a fairly full NHL slate tonight, as several teams will drop the puck for the first time this year. Find NHL best bets for the Golden Knights-Sharks game and the Stars on the road in St. Louis.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks
The Golden Knights celebrated their banner unfurling in style on Tuesday night, complete with a giant slot machine and a 4-1 beatdown of the Seattle Kraken. And tonight the team gets to face a squad many are expecting to be in contention for the worst record in the league (the Impeachment Trophy?) with the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks traded Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson in the offseason, and the team is seriously lacking in firepower. The projected first line of Thomas Hertl, Mike Hoffman, and Filip Zadina combined for just 39 total goals last season (albeit with different teams), and that trio won’t have the defending champs shaking in their skates. In comparison, Vegas’ projected first line for tonight combined for 61 goals last year.
In the crease is where things get interesting. San Jose will be starting Kaapo Kahkonen, who had a .883 SV% and a 3.85 GAA last season while going 9-20-7. While that alone made me want to hammer the Vegas puck line, keep in mind that the Golden Knights will be starting Logan Thompson. The young goalie put up admirable stats last year (.915 SV%, 2.65 GAA), but hasn’t played since March 23, 2023 due to injury. The potential rust had me leaning towards the 60 minute moneyline, but it’s hard to reject plus money (+100 on DraftKings) against a team that’s expected to be bottom feeders. I’m going with the puck line here.
Best Bet: Vegas Golden Knights -1.5
Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues
The Dallas Stars have been hyped as one of the top Stanley Cup contenders this season. And there’s plenty of reason for excitement, considering the team’s strong run to the Western Conference Finals last year before being knocked out by the eventual champion Vegas Golden Knights. The team has plenty of offensive talent, with last year’s points leaders Jason Robertson (109), Jamie Benn (78), and Joe Pavelski (77). Roope Hintz (37 goals last year) will be a game-time decision, and his presence would further fuel what I’m expecting to be an offensive takeover. Last season, the Stars offense was 7th in overall scoring and 5th on the power play, while the Blues were 17th on offense and 22nd on the power play.
St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington has been the definition of diminishing returns, as he has regressed significantly since the Blues hoisted the cup four seasons ago. Binnington’s 3.31 GAA last season ranked 39th amongst goalies that started at least 25 games. This is a stark difference from Dallas netminder Jake Oettinger, who finished last year with a .919 SV% and a 2.37 GAA.
Given the Stars’ (pardon me) starpower and goaltending in comparison to the Blues, there are plenty of ways to wager this game. While 60 minute moneyline and Dallas team total over 3.5 are both interesting to me, the true value as it stands right now is on the puck line with the Stars.
Best Bet: Dallas Stars -1.5
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