This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Best Bets: Expert Picks and Game 1 Breakdown for Stars vs. Golden Knights
We've got primetime playoff hockey on the Vegas Strip tonight as the puck drops for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Golden Knights are coming off an impressive six-game series win over the vaunted Oilers, and the Stars outlasted the upstart Kraken in seven. This is going to be an exciting series and I expect it to go the distance, too. Let's dive into the best bets and props for Stars vs. Golden Knights Game 1!
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
One of the key factors in this series will be goaltending. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, goaltending is a key factor in EVERY playoff series. But it's particularly interesting in this one, as the Stars have a proven go-to with Jake Oettinger. The Golden Knights have a next-man-up revolving door mentality rolling out Adin Hill, who is technically third on the depth chart after the injured Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit. Six out of Dallas' last seven games have hit the over, and with both of these clubs being two of the highest-scoring teams this postseason, I like the over in this one tonight, too.
Over 5.5 -110
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The Golden Knights have been absolutely buzzin'. They handled the Jets in the first round and they looked like the clear better team against the Oilers, who no one really expected them to dominate. The Stars were the better team against the Knights in the regular season, but I'm not putting much stock in that at this point in the playoffs. The Stars have lost both of their Game 1s this postseason, so give me the home team here.
Golden Knights ML -125
Everyone on the Vegas bench has been buzzin', but their stars are shining in particular. Jack Eichel's playoff debut has been stellar, as he leads the team with 14 points through 11 games. I think he comes out firing tonight.
Jack Eichel (VGK) over 3.5 shots on goal -110
Eichel's linemates have been hot, too, so I'm taking flyers on them to get in on tonight's action on home ice.
Ivan Barbashev (VGK) over 0.5 points +115
Jonathan Marchessault (VGK) over 3.5 shots on goal -125
We won't hit tonight's over without the Stars bringing their own heat, and that starts with their big guns. Roope Hintz is a Conn Smythe candidate and I expect him to play like one tonight. Joe Pavelski has been an absolute menace since returning from injury in the second round, so if the Stars are scoring, it's likely he's involved. And then there's the trusty Tyler Seguin, who just seems to love playing Vegas, firing 18 shots on goal in their three regular-season matchups.
Roope Hintz (DAL) over 2.5 shots on goal -155
Joe Pavelski (DAL) over 0.5 points -175
Tyler Seguin (DAL) over 2.5 shots on goal +115
Speaking of hitting that over, Vegas will probably need to score three or more to do so in a win. I like the Goals Against goalie prop for the Dallas netminder.
Jake Oettinger (DAL) over 2.5 goals against -130