Betting Spotlight: Under is tempting, but high count expected in the Garden

Vegas will look to bounce back against the Rangers after Friday’s debacle.

The Vegas Golden Knights look to bounce back after a disastrous game two nights back, when they squandered 3-0 and 4-1 leads against the New Jersey Devils, who won 5-4 in overtime. It marked the first time Vegas lost when leading after two periods.

The Golden Knights are at Madison Square Garden for a clash with the New York Rangers. And per reports out of New York, by Las Vegas Review Journal reporter David Schoen, Max Pacioretty will return to the Golden Knights lineup after missing Friday’s game in New Jersey.

Vegas has won 10 of 14 and continue to challenge in the playoff race in the Western Conference.

We are 12-6-1 with totals involving the Golden Knights, after hitting the Over in the Devils game. We’re also on a 4-3 run with top-rated power plays throughout the league.

As of 8 am pacific, Vegas is laying -145, while the Rangers are taking back +135.

Value in the Knights

While many are making a big deal of Vegas having to play at 9:30 a.m. pacific time, keep in mind the Golden Knight have been on east coast time since Monday, and have likely been able to adjust to the time zone by now. It will feel like a 12:35 pm start, not a 9:35 am start. And with Pacioretty back on the second line, we are a bit fascinated to see how Patches and Paul Stastny collaborate on the second line, alongside Alex Tuch — arguably one of the top three players on this team. Friday night did not sit right with the Knights, and they’ll be looking to avenge the loss to New Jersey.

Value in the Rangers

While New York is a mediocre 14-13-4 this season, it is 10-4-2 at home this season. That doesn’t bode well for Vegas, which is 8-11-1 with a suitcase in hand. The Rangers have played well of late, on runs of 3-1-1 and 7-2-1. So to give them a hefty dog price at Madison Square Gaden could prove costly for the books. And there is motivation with this team, exactly like the Golden Knights, as New York also squandered a 3-0 lead and lost in overtime on Friday, to Arizona. The Coyotes scored a power play goal in the second period and found the back of the net twice in the third period to tie the game, before scoring the game-winning goal in the final minute of overtime. The Rangers will be just as hungry for this game, and with a plus-price, they’re worth looking at.

The Total

As of 8 am pacific, the total in this game is 6-under -125.

Yes, the under is the heavy favorite today, but that’s likely because the money is pouring in, and the books would rather raise the price on 6, rather than dip to 5 1/2. They know both teams are capable of putting three in the net today, and this being a 4-3 or 5-3 final. With Vegas’ first two lines potentially at full strength, and a red-hot Cody Eakin on the third line, we wouldn’t be surprised to see all four lines get involved with the scoring in this matinee. Vegas has gone Over in seven of its last nine. And the Rangers won’t mind answering the bell here, as they’ve gone Over in five straight. Count on this one soaring over.

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