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Minnesota Wild at Vegas Golden Knights Game 1 odds, picks and prediction

Apr 3, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) falls onto Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) after scoring during the third period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Locher/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild and Vegas Golden Knights play Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series Sunday. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET at T-Mobile Arena. Below, we analyze the Wild-Golden Knights odds and lines, with NHL picks and predictions.

The public has been slamming the Golden Knights, but the Wild did win the regular-season series 5-3, including victories in five of the previous six. Six of the meetings were decided by one goal, including three in either overtime or a shootout, so Minnesota has been a thorn in Vegas’ side.

The Golden Knights split their four home games with the Wild, outscoring Minnesota just 13-10. Two of the meetings could not be decided in regulation, either.

Wild at Golden Knights: Odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 4:37 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Wild +135 (bet $100 to win $135) | Golden Knights -160 (bet $160 to win $100)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Wild +1.5 (-190) | Golden Knights -1.5 (+155)
  • Over/Under: 5.5 (O: -120 | U: +100)

Wild at Golden Knights: Projected starting goalies

Cam Talbot (19-8-5, 2.63 GAA, .915 SV%, 2 SO) vs. Marc-Andre Fleury (26-10-0, 1.98 GAA, .928 SV%, 6 SO)

Talbot went off the rails a bit down the stretch, allowing three or more goals in each of his final six games, winning just two times. He still won 19 games, his most since 2017-18 with the Edmonton Oilers.

Talbot held his own against VGK, going 3-1-2 with a 3.26 GAA and .898 SV% in six starts against Minnesota this season.

Fleury and G Robin Lehner are both likely to see action in this series for Vegas, but Fleury gets first crack after seeing Minnesota much more this season. He was 3-3-0 with a 2.41 GAA and .919 SV% in six starts, while Lehner was 0-1-1 with a 3.87 GAA and .884 SV% in two appearances vs. the Wild.

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Wild at Golden Knights: Odds, lines, predictions and picks

Prediction

Golden Knights 4, Wild 2

Money line (ML)

The GOLDEN KNIGHTS (-160) are moderate favorites, and rightly so. They’re on home ice and they finished up the regular season on a much higher note than the Wild.

Minnesota more than held their own against Vegas in the regular season, but the Knights are the play in Game 1 mainly due to the goaltender matchup. Fleury is money, while Talbot cannot be trusted nearly as much.

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Against the spread (ATS)

The GOLDEN KNIGHTS -1.5 (+155) are worth playing lightly on the puck line despite the fact most of the meetings in the regular season were rather close, and the Wild actually won five of the previous six. I still think the home crowd energy gets Vegas going, as T-Mobile Arena has quickly grown into a hostile environment during playoff time.

Over/Under (O/U)

OVER 5.5 (-120) is the slight lean in Game 1, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it requires an empty-net goal to get you over the finish line. Minnesota did hit the Over in nine of their final 11 regular-season tilts, while cashing the Over in 16 of the past 21 on the road. Talbot has been very giving lately, so that’s the play.

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