The Vegas Golden Knights will be looking to stay alive in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final on Thursday, when they host the Washington Capitals as solid home favorites at the sportsbooks.
Vegas is on the brink of defeat after losing the past three games but has not lost four in a row all season, while Washington will be attempting to win its first Stanley Cup and tie a record with a 10th road victory.
NHL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 4.2-1.2, Capitals. NHL picks on every game.
Why the Capitals Can Pay on the NHL Lines
The Capitals are 9-3 away from home in the playoffs and 16-4 in their past 20 on the road dating back to the regular season, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
They turned the tide in this series with a 3-2 victory in Game 2 and then proceeded to win two at home to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Washington’s success has been built on playing strong defense, taking its opponent’s best shots in flurries and then responding with easy goals that have been deflating for the opposition.
Evgeny Kuznetsov’s presence in the lineup after suffering what looked to be a serious upper-body injury in Game 1 has been the difference.Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
Why the Golden Knights Can Pay on the NHL Lines
The Golden Knights were not supposed to be here as an expansion team, but they have probably put too much pressure on themselves to win the Stanley Cup lately as the pre-series favorites, forgetting how they got to this point.
This group of golden misfits made it to the Stanley Cup Final by not worrying about what others thought about them and instead focused on going out and having fun on the ice together.
If they can play loose and stress-free Thursday, as they have for most of the postseason, they will win Game 5 at home.
Smart Betting Pick
The series trends supporting Washington in this situation may be tough to beat, but that does not mean the clincher will take place in Game 5.
Vegas knows 31 successive teams have won the Cup after leading 3-1, but the Capitals have also blown five 3-1 series leads in the playoffs overall, the most of any team ever.
The Golden Knights do not want the Capitals celebrating at T-Mobile Arena so take them to extend the series.
NHL Betting Trends
Washington is 5-1 in its past six games.
Washington is 14-3 in its past 17 games on the road.
Vegas is 9-2 in its past 11 games at home.
All NHL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.