NHL Playoff Betting – Friday, May 19 Picks

By Phil Simon

The Dallas Stars survived a grueling 7-game series against upstart Seattle in the previous round of the Stanley Cup playoffs only to earn a date with the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference finals. Game 1 of the series is scheduled for Friday night in Sin City. Vegas earned the top-seed and home ice advantage finishing three points better than Dallas in the regular season standings. But it was the Stars who got the better of the three in-season matchups winning them all by a combined score of 9-3 with two of those victories taking place in Las Vegas. Dating back to 2020 when Dallas beat Vegas in five games to win the conference final, the Stars are 8-3 as a NHL pick with a 4-2 mark on the Knights’ home ice. Playing as an underdog in all six games of the Edmonton series, Vegas is a -125 favorite on the opening NHL betting line at BetRivers sportsbook.


Daily NHL Picks


Dallas at Vegas, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)


Dallas Stars at Vegas Golden Knights


Both teams are sound defensively making what happened to Dallas in the previous series a bit surprising. The Stars boasted the third-best goals against average during the regular season at 2.62 and held Minnesota to three goals over the final three games of the first round series, allowing the Stars to win all of them and overcome a 2-1 series deficit. It was a different story against Seattle, though. In their three losses the Stars surrendered 18 goals with stud netminder Jake Oettinger getting pulled in a 6-3 loss in Game 6.


The Stars were a NHL best pick against the OVER in the first six games of the Seattle series playing above the total every time. There was a sense of normalcy in the clinching Game 7, which was easily their best game defensively. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Back in net Oettinger stopped 22 shots with a goal in the final 20 seconds spoiling his shutout bid in a 2-1 victory.


The Stars were at their defensive best against Vegas during the regular season allowing just three goals with Oettinger compiling a 0.96 GAA and .967 save percentage. But as we and the Boston Bruins know, things are much different come playoff time. Oettinger came up big when he was needed and the Stars are hoping leading scorer Jason Robertson makes an appearance in this series. Robertson had 46 goals and 109 points during the season but failed to find the back of the net in the Seattle series.


The teams won with solid defense and underrated offenses. Dallas got a boost from veteran Joe Pavelski, who returned from a brief injury absence to net four goals in Game 1 of the Seattle series and scored eight times total in the series. His production offset Robertson’s slump. A same game parlay should include Robertson scoring on Friday since it’s hard to keep goal scorers down.


Nothing is easy in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but Vegas made it look that way in the first two rounds. The Knights vanquished banged up Winnipeg in five games then shut down Edmonton’s explosive offense allowing 10 goals in the final four games. Adin Hill stepped in for injured starter Laurent Brossoit in Game 3 and stopped 93.1 percent of the shots he faced over the final four games.


Vegas will need its top players to step up offensively and continue what they’ve been doing. The Knights scored four or more goals in eight of their 11 games led by Jack Eichel with six goals and 14 points. Jonathan Marchessault had a hat trick in the series clinching win over Edmonton raising his playoff point total to 10 joining Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson in double figures.


Neither team scored a power play goal during the regular season series, but Dallas has had plenty of success with the man advantage during the playoffs with their 13 tallies second-most. They’ve converted on 31.7 percent of their chances while Vegas has just a 17.9 percent success rate. Special teams will play a big role with Dallas being better making them the NHL consensus pick to win Game 1.


NHL Playoff Pick: Dallas / UNDER


Check out the latest NHL betting odds at BetRivers.