NHL Betting Picks for Wednesday 5/1/24: Golden Knights, Stars Face Off in Pivotal Game 5

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Wednesday 5/1/24: Golden Knights, Stars Face Off in Pivotal Game 5

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs roll on in the opening round as two major games are set for tonight's slate.

Whether it's moneylines or total goals, there are plenty of ways to bet on the NHL action all season. It's a long 82-game campaign, meaning that the best selections of each night can be very different based on backup goalies coming into play, injuries that add up, and if teams are due for positive or negative swings.

Let's dive into the best bets for tonight.

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All NHL betting odds and totals are from the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. All advanced statistics are used from MoneyPuck.com and NaturalStatTrick.com.

NHL Best Bets

Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars

Stars ML (-154)

The best series of the first round enters its biggest game yet tonight in Game 5.

It's been a crazy series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars, as both road teams have won to bring the series to a 2-2 tie. I'm deciding to go against the trend tonight, however, as the Stars have found their way, and they should be able to take advantage of home ice for the first time.

Dallas has been dominant in many ways as their numbers show. The Stars rank third in the playoffs with 3.85 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) while also holding the Golden Knights' offense to just 2.33 xGF/60 in their own right. It's a 1.52 expected goal difference between them, which is why winning those two games on the road in Vegas should mark the start of the Stars making this series theirs to lose.

Offensively, the Stars have been a force, entering tonight with the second-best Corsi for per 60 minutes (CF/60) in the playoffs, as well, at a 72.55 clip. Vegas ranks ninth with 61.08 CF/60.

The multiple returns to the lineup helped the Golden Knights in the first two games, but the Stars have battled back and should be able to protect home ice tonight to earn the series lead. Take their moneyline in what should be a back-and-forth affair.

Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers

Under 6.5 Goals (-130)

The Edmonton Oilers have an opportunity to close out their series tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. No matter who wins, these teams are going to want to avoid the game becoming a shootout like the first three games of the series, much like we saw with Game 4.

The first three games of the series featured a combined 27 goals while Game 4 had just one -- with the Oilers getting the job done. With the Kings fighting for their season and the Oilers trying to close things out, I feel confident that it's going to be back on the lower-scoring side with these two teams adjusting to one another.

If we look at each team's expected numbers throughout the first four games, taking the under will make all the more sense.

Edmonton is unsurprisingly better, averaging 3.33 xGF/60 compared to the Kings' 2.76 xGF/60. In five-on-five situations, the Kings actually lead with 2.79 xGF/60 compared to Edmonton's incredibly low 2.48 mark.

There's a good chance for this to stay low in scoring with so much on the line. Take the under with confidence.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.