The Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights gear up for a potentially deciding game 6, and we bring you the best free betting tips to get you set for playoff hockey betting this week.
The Montreal Canadiens are one win away from the Stanley Cup finals after clinching the convincing 4-1 victory in game 5 on the road. Now, the series heads back to the Bell Centre in Montreal with the Canadiens up 3-2 on the Golden Knights. So, the only question knocking about in sports betting circles is whether the Habs can deliver yet another series upset to secure passage into the final round of the NHL playoffs?
The simple answer, yes they can! They’ve done it all through the postseason, by upsetting the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets to reach the semifinals. And they have the initiative to do it again with home advantage factoring in their favour for game 6. Having said that it’s worth pointing out that bookies aren’t putting much stock in it. Quite the opposite as opening odds have the hosts tipped as the underdogs for game 6 while the visiting Golden Knights are getting the winning nod. Do the bookies have it right? We preview this game and serve up choice NHL picks to consider
Montreal Canadiens vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Thursday, June 24, 2021 – 8:00 PM EDT at Bell Centre
Vegas Golden Knights Face Must Win
The Vegas Golden Knights are in a position few expected them to be in when this series was first billed in NHL markets across multiple sports betting sites. Going into the series, by and large, the Vegas were dubbed as the hot faves to win and advance into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Well, as things currently stand, they’re one defeat away from being packed out of the postseason.
Of course, the way things are now aren’t indicative of where they’ll be tomorrow at the end of game 6. The Golden Knights certainly have the ability to turn things around and serve up the win on the road to send this series back to Vegas for a deciding game 7. However, they did frit away the opportunity to take a commanding lead in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss at home, making their progress through this series tougher than it perhaps needed to be.
Coach Peter DeBoer turned back to Marc-Andre Fleury in game 5 after benching him in favour of Robin Lehner. And while there will be those that will point to that decision as the reason for Vegas’ loss—Fleury allowed four goals on 25 shots – it really wasn’t just goaltending that let down the Golden Knights. The lack of offense played a part, if not a bigger role in the costly setback.
"We weren't playing very well, so maybe we deserved it," defenseman Brayden McNabb said. "We got outworked from puck drop, so I mean, it is what it is. Our fans are great. We love the fans. I'm sure they were frustrated, as were we."
Montreal a Win Away
Since game 1, the Vegas Golden Knights have struggled to deal with the Montreal Canadiens and they’re fast running out of ideas. Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer said as much when he admitted “we’re searching for answers.”
Jesperi Kotkaniemi opened the scoring for Montreal early in the first period. Eric Staal scored on a pass from Nick Suzuki to double Montreal’s lead in the second period. Cole Caufield and Max Pacioretty rounded out the scoring for Montreal as they clinched game 5 at T-Mobile Arena against the NHL odds. Carey Price finished with 26 saves on 27 shots for a .963 save percentage.
After falling behind Vegas in the series, more than few wrote off the Canadiens. And yet, as in the previous rounds, the Canadiens regrouped on the fly and bounced back impressively to the chagrin of their detractors. Against Toronto, the Canadiens trailed 1-3 in the series before reeling off three straight wins. Here, they were trailing 1-2 and have reeled off two straight to move into the lead. If that’s not a sign that these plucky underdogs aren’t to be underestimated, what is?
NHL Predictions and Picks
In spite of the way the series stands, multiple top sportsbooks adamantly tip Vegas Golden Knights as the road faves for game 6. They’ve got all to play for and everything to lose in game 6, but the market itself is an extension of the opening market on this series. And, perhaps, maybe even, a sign that the public is higher on the Golden Knights than they are on the Canadiens right now.
Be that as it may, the Canadiens are undeniable. They’re the sort of underdog one doesn’t want to bet against because they deliver more often than not. As such, it would seem churlish not to bet on them again, especially in this game where there’s a clear juxtaposition between the market and real conditions – i.e., they are considered the underdogs but they have home advantage in a crucial, series-deciding game.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.