Free NHL Picks: Stars at Wild Odds
by George Monroy - 10/11/2013
The Dallas Stars began the season with two games over a three-day stretch, and then were given five days off. Nearly every other team in the league already had four games under its belt before Dallas played the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. That lack of playing time might have a huge impact during Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild. The matchup will be the first of a scheduled four meetings between the teams, with the next game not coming until early next year.
Both squads are about to enter a brutal portion of the schedule where each goes on the road for an extended period of time. The Stars are already in the middle of a five-game road stretch in six games, while the Wild will play on the road five times during their next seven games. This matchup between Central Division rivals might be a must-win for both teams as each cannot afford to struggle and lose ground on the division leaders during their respective road trips. Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s Dallas Stars versus Minnesota Wild matchup and figure out which side of the game has the best value to wager on.
Stars at Wild Betting Story Lines
Dallas opened the season with a 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers after the team’s defense broke down and allowed two goals in a four-minute span, which essentialy ended the game. The team was able to redeem itself a bit during its 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals a couple of night’s later. Alex Chiasson, the Stars’ 23-year-old right wing, scored his second goal of the young season. Chiasson, who has only played in nine professional games and scored eight goals, is a budding young star that is not even a year removed from playing college hockey at the Boston University. The astounding part is that Chiasson became the first player in 20 years to score eight goals during the first nine games of his professional career.
The Wild have had a busy schedule to start the season and have already played four games over the last week. The team opened the year with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings and then suffered another overtime loss against the Anaheim Ducks a couple of days later. Minnesota then lost to the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Tuesday, but then managed to get their first win of the season with a solid 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. The Wild may have only one win this season, but the team has managed to score points on two of its three losses and has four points to start the year—which is not a horrible situation to be in.
The Wild have not played great through four games and are only 21st in the league in goals scored per game (2.3), and 11th in goals allowed (2.5), but are a solid ninth in power play percentage. Minnesota has averaged 31.5 shots each game and only allowed its opponents to 22 shots—which is an excellent sign for the team. The Stars, on the other hand, rank even worse than Minnesota in most categories. Dallas is 24th in goals scored, tied for 11th in goals allowed and 29th in power play percentage. The team has averaged only 24 shots per game but allowed opponents 32.5 shots.
Stars at Wild NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Minnesota opened at a -157 moneyline favorite over Dallas, according to BetOnline. The underdog Stars are receiving a +143 moneyline. The total opened a five goals with the “over” being favored at -136 . Dallas is 1-6 during their last seven games dating back to last season. The team is also 0-4 during their last four road games and 0-5 versus their last five Western Conference opponents. The Wild are 5-2 during their last seven Saturday games, which probably is a meaningless, yet interesting, stat. During head-to-head meetings between Minnesota and Dallas, the home team is 22-7 over the last 29 matchups, but the Stars are 22-8 over the last 30 matchups.
Free NHL Picks: Stars at Wild Betting Predictions
Neither of these teams has really played great to start the season, but despite the Wilds’ three losses in four games, the team has been in every matchup until the very end. Minnesota could easily have a 3-1 record and be at the top of the division. Dallas is on the second night of a back-to-back after having not played in five days. The team could still be battling offseason rust, and they simply have not been a good team to begin with. All the value here is on the home team. Wagering on the Wild as a small favorite is an excellent spot to bet on since the team has been playing much better than their record indicates.
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