Free NHL Picks: Stars at Islanders Odds
by George Monroy - 1/6/2014
The improving New York Islanders split the first two games of a three-game homestand and will be looking to end the stretch on a positive note with a win over the Dallas Stars on Monday night. New York heads out on a six-game road trip starting Tuesday that will not end until a Jan. 18 matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers. The team has played much better hockey over the last two weeks, but it is still sitting firmly near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
The Dallas Stars are still right in the mix for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference standings and are only two points out from that final position. The team, however, has lost three of its last four matchups and will begin a three-game road trip against the Islanders tonight. Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s Stars versus Islanders matchup and figure out which side of the bet has the most value to wager on.
Stars at Islanders Betting Story Lines
New York has surprisingly won three of its last four matchups, with two very impressive wins over the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. The team is coming off a one-goal loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday where they took a solid 40 shots on goal and scored a power-play goal, however, New York did not do enough to get the win even though it stayed competitive for most of the matchup. Islanders’ goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has only allowed 10 goals over his last five games and has been one of the biggest reasons behind the team’s recent success.
New York still struggles with protecting its net and has allowed opponents to take over 30 shot attempts in four straight games. In fact, during that span the team allowed an average of 36 shot attempts per matchup. Outside of Nabokov, the offense has been productive as New York’s point’s leader John Tavares has scored eight points during his last five outings.
The Stars, on the other hand, struggled during their last two outings and allowed a whopping 11 goals in both matchups. However, the troubling issue for the team is that it only gave up 27 and 28 shots on goal during both matchups. Dallas’ goaltending has been atrocious over the last two matchups, but over the course of the season both Dan Ellis and Kari Lehtonen have been solid-to-very-good in front of the net. After tonight’s game against the Islanders, Dallas will head to New Jersey to face the Devils and then head to Madison Square Garden to play the Rangers on Friday night.
Stars at Islanders NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
New York opened as a -116 moneyline favorite over the +105 underdog Stars at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “over” being favored at -116. Dallas is 4-0 over its last four games after scoring two goals or less in the previous matchup and 4-1 following a loss of three goals or more. The team, however, is only 4-9 over its last 13 Monday games and 1-4 over its last five games against the Eastern Conference.
New York is 3-9 during its last 12 Monday games and 3-7 during its last 10 against the Western Conference. The team has struggled at home and currently has a 1-9 record over its last 10 home matchups. Head-to-head, Dallas is 4-0 over the last four games in New York and 5-1 over the last six overall meetings. The road team has also won six of the last seven matchups.
Free NHL Picks: Stars at Islanders Predictions
Even though the Islanders are a bottom-of-the-barrel team, they are playing with a world of confidence after beating the Bruins and Blackhawks in the last seven days. The team’s defense and goaltending has been excellent, and the offense is going through its most productive stretch of the season. New York seems to have all the value and momentum here. Dallas is on a losing streaking and struggling to get its defense to put forth a solid and efficient effort. The moneyline is very small for the favored Islanders, and tonight’s game is a great opportunity to bet on New York.
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