NHL Betting Guide: Monday 9/14/20

Last round we saw three teams claw their way back to force a Game 7 after being down 3-1 in their series. The fight to force a Game 7 starts tonight for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars

Stars moneyline (+150): 1-Star Rating Out 5

The Vegas Golden Knights couldn't buy a goal at the end of their series against the Vancouver Canucks, but at least they were creating chances. Prior to their series against the Dallas Stars, at even strength, the Golden Knights were averaging 28.7 scoring chances and 11.9 high-danger scoring chances per game. Those chances have plummeted to 16.8 and 8.8 chances per game, respectively, through four games of the Western Conference Finals.

As expected, this substantial decrease in production has lead to a nosedive in output. The Golden Knights have scored six goals through four games, three at even strength and three with the man-advantage.

At one point they were snake-bitten but now the Golden Knights have to contend with a much stiffer defensive system. Vegas had a hard time scoring when they were creating north of 50 scoring chances and 20 high-danger chances against the Canucks, so it's no wonder that they can't find the back of the net against the Stars.

Anton Khudobin has been a steadying force in the defensive zone for the Dallas Stars. He's posted a 95.4% save percentage this series, including stopping 91.4% of shots on the penalty kill. He's elevated his postseason save percentage up to his career average but remains below his season-long save percentage. There might be no stopping the Stars if Khudobin can sustain the 93.0% save percentage he established during the regular season.

It seems Dallas has found that magical Stanley Cup winning recipe, that the St. Louis Blues had last year -- smothering defensive play, rock-solid goaltending, and an opportunistic offense.

The metrics suggest that the Stars have found a way to neutralize a potent Golden Knights lineup. Now, the Stars have three chances to beat the Golden Knights and secure their spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. Our model gives Dallas a 45.3% chance at winning tonight, which is in excess of the 40.0% implied probability of the +150 price. That makes Stars moneyline, a one-star play.