NHL Betting Guide: Friday 6/4/21
This may not need to be said, but there will be some urgency in tonight's action. The Vegas Golden Knights cannot afford to go down 3-0 in their series against the Colorado Avalanche. The Winnipeg Jets will be hoping to avoid the same 2-0 deficit when they host the Montreal Canadiens for Game 2 of their North Division matchup. We have plays in each game in today's betting guide.
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Golden Knights Moneyline (+108): 2-Star Rating out of 5
Under 5.5 (-120): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
It might surprise a few people, but the Golden Knights put up their best five-on-five effort of the postseason in Game 2 against the Avalanche. The Knights' undoing was special teams, though, as the Avs used their powerplay to perfection, scoring two goals, including the game-winner in overtime.
The Avs' effort perpetuated some unsustainable metrics, which implies that they are due for correction. Colorado has been limited to 33 scoring chances and 13 high-danger opportunities through the first two games of the series. Those metrics improve to 61 and 27, respectively, illustrating their reliance on special teams to win games.
Colorado's PDO is also on the unsustainable end of the spectrum. The Avs lead the postseason with a 1.088 PDO, thanks to inflated shooting and save percentages. Those metrics are untenable and will start spiraling back down to average, particularly if the Avs continue to get outplayed.
We're expecting the Golden Knights to build off their effort in Game 2 and elevate their play on home ice as they have all season. Vegas has posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% across all strengths in three of four games this postseason, dominating their two most recent outings with game scores above 68.0%. They have shown a reliance on tidy defensive efforts throughout the postseason, limiting each of their last five opponents to single-digit high-danger chances at five-on-five.
A more disciplined effort should be expected from the Golden Knights as they try to close the gap in their second-round West Division series. Based on our projections, there are edges in backing the Knights moneyline and the under, rated as two- and one-star plays, respectively.
Jets moneyline (-118): 1-Star Rating out of 5
It wasn't the start to Winnipeg's second-round matchup that they were hoping for. The Jets will try to level their series against the Canadiens at one game apiece before shifting back to Montreal for Games 3 and 4.
Game 2 presents as a good bounce-back spot for the Jets after they set a postseason low 11 scoring opportunities and two high-danger chances at five-on-five in Game 1. The 18 scoring and 6 high-danger chances they attempted across all strengths were also their lowest totals since the start of May and below average. There's only one way for the Jets to go from here.
The Jets have been much better at home this season, including the playoffs. Winnipeg has attempted 29.5 scoring chances and 10.6 high-danger chances at home, compared to 24.8 and 8.9 on the road. The Jets were a long way off those metrics in Game 1 and should work their way back towards average.
Their condensed schedule impacts Montreal's chances tonight. This will be their seventh game in 12 nights, and they have bounced between three cities along the way, with stops in Montreal, Toronto, back to Montreal, then Toronto again, before landing in Winnipeg. The Habs don't have the benefit of resting at home or last change, both of which negatively impact their chances.
Our projections indicate that the Jets have a 63.2% chance of winning tonight, which is substantially higher than their implied probability in the betting market. As such, there's an edge in backing the Jets, which is rated as a two-star play.