The Vegas Golden Knights and Nashville Predators tangle at T-Mobile Arena for their last game before an eight-day break, and both are looking to end on a winning note after slumbering through a tough stretch of late.
The Predators are 2-4 in their last six, but can move into a tie for first place with Winnipeg with a victory. The Golden Knights have lost three of their last five, including a pair of home games to San Jose and Minnesota, respectively.
But Vegas is 16-5-3 on home ice, and will be out for revenge after losing 4-1 in Nashville earlier this season. The Predators arrive after a 4-1 victory at Colorado on Monday afternoon that ended a two-game losing streak. They arrived in Las Vegas that night, leaving one to wonder if they’ll suffer from the “Vegas Flu” many teams suffered from last season.
We are 19-12-3 with totals involving the Golden Knights, after pushing with the Under in Monday’s game against the Wild. We’re also on a 4-3 run with top-rated power plays that involve other teams on off nights.
As of 6 p.m. PT, the Knights are -140, while the Predators are taking back +130.
Value in the Knights
Vegas was none too pleased with its loss to Minnesota, and coach Gerard Gallant let his team know about it, putting his players on blast after the game: “I don’t think we played good (against the Wild). I don’t think we showed up ready to play a team that was aggressive for points. I don’t think we played hard enough ... I don’t think we played good. That’s not everybody, but it’s a fair amount.”
Despite losing three of their last five, the Golden Knights have cashed out nine of their last 12 games and come in with a 5-2 mark when playing on one day’s rest. They’re also on a 13-6 run against Western Conference teams and 5-2 versus the Central. The line has climbed for this morning, but -140 still has some value.
Value in the Predators
Nashville loves playing on Wednesdays, as it is on a 4-0 run when hitting the ice on hump day. The Predators have plenty of motivation considering they’re nine points ahead of third-place Minnesota in the Central Division in the battle for home ice in the playoffs, and would love to add some cushion before the break. Nashville’s defense is stacked and could pose problems for an inconsistent Golden Knights offense that has scored 2, 4, 1, 7 and 2 in the last five games. Of course, if the pattern holds true, Vegas would be poised for an offensive burst. But this is the best defensive unit it will have faced in a while. It’s rare you will see the Predators plus a price like this, so if you like playing underdog prices, this could be value.
As of 6 p.m. PT, the total in this game is 6 under -115.
You would think with the way Nashville plays defense, and Marc-Andre Fleury in net for Vegas, this one stays low. But we’re going to lean toward the high in this one, as we expect to see Vegas open up the first period in a rush. The Predators have failed to cash a ticket in 13 of their last 18 road games, so Vegas has a solid advantage there. Nashville, however, has incredible scoring defenders, so there will be an answer for the Golden Knights’ offense. Besides, the Predators have gone Over in five of their last six against Pacific Division teams, and are on a 3-0-1 Over run against winning teams. Look for this one to approach the Over early on and finally get there in the third period, if not sooner.
W.G. Ramirez is a freelance reporter in Las Vegas who covers the Vegas Golden Knights for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at @WillieGRamirez.