Philadelphia Flyers (44-30-14) at Vegas Golden Knights (64-30-8)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 4, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Vegas Golden Knights -154 / Philadelphia Flyers +120 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Philadelphia Flyers and the Vegas Golden Knights meet in NHL action from T-Mobile Arena on Thursday night to kick off their respective 2018-19 NHL regular seasons.
The Philadelphia Flyers will look to keep improving after a successful 2017-18 campaign that saw the Flyers make it back into the postseason with a 42-26-14 record for 98 points which was good for 3rd in the division. The Flyers stay in the playoffs was short-lived however, as Philly would be bounced by Pittsburgh in the opening round. Claude Giroux is back as the team captain after scoring 34 goals and logging 102 points for the Flyers last season, while signing James van Riemsdyk to a 5-year deal after leading the Toronto Maple Leafs with 36 goals last season. Brian Elliott is back between the pipes after racking up a 23-11-7 mark for the Flyers last season with a 2.66 GAA and a .909 save percentage.
The Vegas Golden Knights have some lofty expectations for the club this season after making quite the debut in their inaugural season, enjoying the strongest debut season for an expansion franchise in North American pro sports history with 109 points, a pacific division title and playoff series wins over Los Angeles, San Jose and Winnipeg before falling to the eventual champion Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup finals. Vegas made quite the splash in the offseason, acquiring former Montreal captain Max Pacioretty for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and a draft pick. William Karlsson will hope to enjoy the same kind of season as he had last year, with 43 goals and 78 points while Jonathan Marchessault added 75 points and David Perron chipped in a team-high 50 assists last season. Marc-Andre Fleury will hope to stay healthy for Vegas this season, racking up a 29-13-4 mark with a 2.24 GAA and a .927 save percentage in 46 starts last season.
Philadelphia is 5-2 in their last 7 games against the Pacific and 9-3 in their last 12 games against the Western Conference while the over is 11-4-3 in their last 18 games overall. Vegas is 0-4 in their last 4 games overall and 0-4 in their last 4 games against the Metropolitan while the over is 6-2 in their last 8 home games.
The Golden Knights made you a lot more money than you lost backing them last season, as they caught the proverbial lightning in a bottle. However, I think with such lofty expectations this time around, there’s bound to be a hangover and I think it comes here. The Golden Knights may be the better team with better goaltending, but the Flyers have played well on the road dating back to last season and have played well against the West. I think the beginning of the season is going to be the best time to catch a lot of upsets and I think this is one of them so I’ll take a shot with Philly and the plus money here.