The NHL’s newest team, the Seattle Kraken, plays their inaugural game against the last expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights, in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday night in Las Vegas. As the NHL betting odds would have it, the Kraken are more likely to lose as nearly 2-1 underdogs. But as Vegas has proven in the past, we cannot underestimate the new team too much.
Still, NHL teams have learned their lessons from when Vegas cunningly built its expansion roster. Seattle looks more like a traditional expansion team and may just struggle. The Golden Knights, runner-up for the Presidents’ Trophy last season, will give the Kraken a rude welcome this Tuesday.
|Team||Puck Line||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Seattle||+1½ -125||+195||5½ +115o||2½ +130o/-170u|
|Vegas||-1½ +105||-235||5½ -135u||3½ +110o/-150u|
Kraken: Monstrous Debut
General manager Ron Francis took the team’s moniker to heart when he built the roster. The Kraken appear like a scary defensive team but at the expense of offense. Seattle selected Calgary Flames captain, former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Mark Giordano, to lead the team.
Joining Giordano are the likes of centers Yanni Gourde, a notable member of Tampa Bay’s checking line, and Mason Appleton, a rising star from the Winnipeg Jets. In net, the Kraken will depend on Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer.
The Kraken benefit from playing in a weak Pacific Division. This team has a shot at finishing as the second- or third-best team and sharp money has already come in on them to win the Stanley Cup. That may be an overreaction to missing the train on Vegas four years ago, but you never know.
Golden Knights: On the Rebound
Vegas appeared destined to meet with Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup Finals until they got “skunked” by the Montreal Canadiens, as captain Mark Stone would say. The loss exposed problems in the middle for Vegas. The Golden Knights tried to patch this up but didn’t have much room with which to work.
The Knights acquired the likes of Brett Howden and Nolan Patrick to bolster the center spot as it hopes someone other than Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson can emerge. But Vegas should remain a top team otherwise and the online gambling odds still have them as a top-three Stanley Cup contender.
Goaltender Robin Lehner takes over in net while new signee Laurent Brossoit should be a great backup. Vegas will once again ride its strong and physical style of play as it should capture the Pacific Division without issues.
Vegas should win this game, though the value is more on Seattle’s puckline at +1½. Vegas finished last season with the most wins (40) in the league but was a losing team on the puckline as a favorite. Ten of Vegas’s 28 home games were decided by one goal and it only won six of these.
Seattle is also built to be a tough team to play against. What they lack in goal scoring, the Kraken can make up for in savvy and depth. The Kraken have three solid lines that can keep up with Vegas even if their offensive ceiling is a lot lower.
But instead of betting Vegas to win at -230, the play here is to bet online for the scoring to be low. Money has already come in on the under and it’s down to -13. There is still value here so grab this line.
Pick: Under 5½ goals (-130)
Some props just pop out and are hard to ignore. The “Race To Goals” is giving out free cash and betting on neither Seattle nor Vegas to hit four goals can be had at +350. On the safer side, betting on neither to reach five goals is at +130. Bet either of these.