I figured it only fitting that my introductory piece for Vegas Hockey Now center around Golden Knights betting, considering this is the sports gambling capital of the world.
I am looking forward to bringing you quality content on the Vegas Golden Knights, be it feature stories, pre- and post-game analysis, breaking news, hot takes, and of course, last but certainly not least betting previews.
For each of Vegas’ games, I’ll tell you why the Golden Knights can win, or whether their opponent can win. And will always have an opinion on the total.
I don’t want to bore you with introductory commentary, you’re here for one reason: to find out why you should invest in this game, and where to place your money, as the Golden Knights look for revenge after suffering their first loss of the season on Friday.
Without further adieu, let’s look at Sunday’s matinee from Gila River Arena, where the Arizona Coyotes (2-2-1) look to gain a split against Vegas (4-1-0) in the West Division rivals’ four-game series.
WHY VEGAS ON THE PUCK LINE +140
We saw as close to the Golden Knights’ full potential in their second game of this series, when Shea Theodore and Alex Pietrangelo finally got Vegas’ defensemen some goals. I still feel as if we’ve yet to see one complete game from every angle- the forwards, the blue-liners, goaltending and special teams. Is today the day? We’ve seen 14 skaters register at least one point, including captain Mark Stone, who has four points in the series and has registered at least one point in every game this season. There are 17 skaters who have at least one point through the first five games, and coach Peter DeBoer has shuffled the lineup enough times where you can expect the comfortability with the forwards to potentially peak today.
WHY ARIZONA +150
Coach Rick Tocchet talked about his team’s intensity before the series shifted to Arizona, and that he was pleased with the type of pressure that came with facing a team like Vegas four straight times, not to mention play in the types of close games the Coyotes played in to start the season. The mental toughness with Arizona is why it was able to break out on Vegas goalie Robin Lehner on Friday, and produce its best offensive output of the season. Conor Garland (1 goal, 2 assists), Nick Schmaltz (1,1), Christian Dvorak (1,1), and Drake Cagguila (0,2) all had multi-point games, while Derick Brassard scored his first goal as a Coyote. Confidence will be brewing for this early start, with fans in the stands, and to tie the series.
THE PICK: Under 5 1/2, +110
I’m leaning on the under in this game, as Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper will make his fourth consecutive start in goal, while I expect Vegas to turn to Marc-Andre Fleury after Lehner’s clunker on Friday. Kuemper is beyond warmed up at this point, and keep in mind he came into the season as the only netminder with a .920 save percentage or better in each of the last three seasons. I expect to see Fleury in net considering the pattern we’ve seen from DeBoer, in alternating his goalies. And since the team entered the league, it is 12-7-2 when Fleury is net one game after a loss that another goalie was between the pipes, including 6-3-0 last season. Look for a tending duo in this one, and the total to stay under the posted 5 1/2 goals.
W.G. Ramirez is the newest columnist and reporter for Vegas Hockey Now. He is the Golden Knights beat writer for The Associated Press and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch him on Twitter @WillieGRamirez