The Vegas has rebounded nicely from a series opening loss in Winnipeg. The Knights have won three straight games behind some stellar goaltending and now find themselves a win away from a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in their very first year in existence. Winning the May 20th NHL playoffs free pick will be no small feat however as Winnipeg has proven to be one of the toughest places for opposing teams to get a victory. Can the Jets pull out a win and save their season in front of the hometown crowd or does Vegas’ season of destiny complete one more milestone?
Marc-Andre Fleury Has Been a Stone Wall in Net
After a hiccup in Game 1 allowing 4 goals on 30 shots, Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been standing on his head. Fleury has allowed just 5 total goals in the last 3 games, each time facing 35+ shots from the Jets offense. There’s going to be hostile conditions in the May 20th NHL free pick in Winnipeg, but Fleury has a great track record. Fleury is an incredible 11-2-1 this postseason, allowing 2 goals or less in 9 of those contests.
Interestingly enough oddsmakers have set the Jets as -150 favorites on Sunday despite the impressive run by the Knights. It’s not just their goaltender that has powered the way either as Vegas had the #5 scoring offense in the league during the regular season. C Jonathan Marchessault has 18 points this postseason including 4 goals in the last 3 games. William Karlsson has 3 points in the series including a goal in the last game but was the #3 goal scorer in the league during the regular season. Basically, Vegas a great shot on Sunday afternoon – especially as +130 ‘dogs.
Can Winnipeg Salvage Their Season?
One of the biggest things going for the Jets in the May 20th NHL playoffs free pick is that they’re back home. It’s true that Winnipeg did drop Game 2 at the Bell MTS Place, but they were an astonishing 32-7-2 here during the regular season. Interestingly enough, the Jets are just 5-3 at home this postseason and have actually lost 3 of the last 4 on their home ice. Don’t count Winnipeg out automatically this afternoon however. The Jets have 91 point scorer Blake Wheeler and the #2 goal scorer in the league in Patrik Laine. Wheeler has 6 points in the series and Laine 2 goals, but Winnipeg needs more from their supporting cast.
In net on Sunday is Connor Hellebuyck who has been so-so in the series. Vegas hasn’t won the last 3 games in blowout fashion, but the Winnipeg net minder has given up 3 goals in each of the last 3 games while not making more than 30 saves in any of them. Winnipeg had a top 5 defense during the regular season, and they’ll need a grind it out approach today force a Game 6 on Tuesday night back in Vegas.
May 20th NHL Playoffs Free Pick Betting
Winnipeg was listed as -147 and -148 favorites in Games 1 and 2 but that number ramped up to -163 at open. It has since dropped to WIN -150. Bettors are liking the Jets slightly, with 53% of the public on the home team. Vegas has gone 5-2 on the road this season and the Knights are where the value lies today.
Free Pick: Vegas Knights +130