NHL Thursday best bets: Going under in Dallas
The Florida Panthers punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night with a dramatic win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Vegas Golden Knights will hope to do the same and complete a sweep of their own Thursday in Dallas.
Let's take a look at the best ways to attack the game.
Golden Knights (+105) @ Stars (-125)
The Stars and Golden Knights have met six times this season, including the playoffs. Five of those games featured five goals or fewer.
The lone exception came in the opening contest of the series, where the Stars tied the contest late in regulation to push the game over the number and force extra time. Both teams generated 35-plus shots in that contest and had more than their fair share of scoring chances.
The past two games haven't played out that way. These teams recorded just 52 shots on goal in Game 2 and only 50 in Game 3.
I expect we'll see the same this time around. With Jake Oettinger struggling mightily and a key weapon out of the lineup in Jamie Benn, I very much doubt the Stars will try to open the game up and turn things into a track meet.
The same can be said of the Golden Knights. They've gotten this far playing structured, grind-it-out hockey. Getting away from that and trading chances with Adin Hill between the pipes is probably not the optimal path to victory.
With the extremely high stakes present in a 3-0 situation, I expect both sides to play pretty close to the vest, taking this to an under for the sixth time in seven meetings.
Bet: Under 5.5 (-120)
Tyler Seguin over 2.5 shots (-132)
Seguin is a Golden Knights killer, at least when it comes to generating shots. He leads the entire series with 22 attempts through three games, good for an average of more than seven per.
This kind of volume is nothing new for Seguin. For whatever reason, he's feasted on the Golden Knights for quite some time.
Seguin has piled up 29 shots on goal through six meetings against Vegas this calendar year, which is an average of nearly five.
There's no reason to expect anything different in Game 4. Seguin led all Stars forwards in ice time last game, logging over 20 minutes despite the blowout.
He should once again get all he can handle this time around, especially with Benn sidelined due to suspension. Look for Seguin to take advantage.
Wyatt Johnston over 2.5 shots (+110)
Johnston is another player who should benefit greatly from Benn's absence. He played close to 19 minutes last time out, which was his highest total since Game 1 of the Seattle series.
Johnston made the most of his ice time, generating four shots on goal and a pair of scoring chances while helping the Stars win the attempt battle 14-5 at five-on-five.
Johnston's strong form goes beyond last game. He's registered at least four shots on goal in four consecutive contests and gone over his total in four of the past five against Vegas.
With Johnston creating shots in bulk and seeing a boost in usage sans Benn, we should expect another lively offensive effort.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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