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Stars vs. Red Wings NHL Odds & Picks: Back Detroit as Home Underdog (April 22)

Stars vs. Red Wings NHL Odds & Picks: Back Detroit as Home Underdog (April 22) article feature image

Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: : Darren Helm of the Detroit Red Wings and Sami Vatanen of the Dallas Stars.

  • Dallas and Detroit flip home ice for the second half of their four-game series.
  • The Stars won the first two meetings in Dallas and have been the better team all season.
  • Despite that, Matt Russell explains why Detroit can hold serve at home.

Stars vs. Red Wings Odds

Stars Odds-190
Red Wings Odds+160
Time | TVThursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Wednesday night and via BetMGM.

One game was up in the air to the bitter end, and the other was over before it really started. The Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings played the first half of their 4-game series in the Lonestar State earlier this week.

It’s time for “playoff hockey mode” for the Stars as they need to make a late-season push to get the final playoff spot in the Central Division. Meanwhile, the two games on the road followed by the two games at home, are the closest thing to playoff hockey that the Red Wings are going to see this season. 

Dallas Stars

If this were a playoff series, the Stars would be up 2-0. Of course, the first game of this series wouldn’t have ended in a shootout if it was a legit playoff game. The Stars escaped with a victory in large part to a spectacular skate save on what would have been a game-winning shootout goal by Evgeni Svechnikov. In hockey parlance, using the word “escaped” means that they played better of the two teams but things got much closer than they should have been, relative to the metrics. 

The Stars were the better team at even-strength, earning one full Expected Goal at even-strength more than Detroit (2.33-1.33) and creating nine High-Danger Chances to the Wings’ four, at even-strength. The confusing part wasn’t that the Stars dominated play in regulation. They do that all the time. My “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, as heard on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast, focuses on even-strength play, and considers the Stars just shy of 11% above average when all things are equal. That’s on par with the Hurricanes and Lightning, two teams who are chasing first place. 

What was shocking was that the Stars actually didn’t blow it in overtime or the shootout, as the win was just their third in 15 tries when the game gets past regulation time. 

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Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.

Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.

xG numbers and advanced stats cited from Evolving Hockey, MoneyPuck and Natural Stat Trick.

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings were this close to taking that first game, as Svechnikov did everything but get the puck past Stars’ goalie Anton Khudobin which would have won the shootout. In game two however, the Red Wings came no where close.

In what would be the lamest sequel ever, there’s a strong possibility that Jonathan Bernier and Thomas Greiss have bodied swapped Freaky Friday-style. After starting the season as the Red Wings’ only hope in net while Greiss struggled, Bernier has returned from injury struggling to find that early season form. This was evidenced on Tuesday, as Bernier gave up four goals on just 12 shots, including two in the first five minutes. Greiss came in and picked up where he left off on Monday, stopping every shot he faced the rest of the way. 

Greiss was un-betable to start the season, and now he’s the guy we need in net to back the Red Wings. They don’t have the talent and firepower to score with the best teams in the league. My model has the Wings as 8% below average at even-strength which is quite the discrepancy from the Stars. 

Betting Analysis & Pick

Naturally, everything comes down to price in sports betting. While the model acknowledges that the Stars are the better team, with the scene shifting to Detroit, it gives Dallas a 57% chance to win the game. That’s not factoring the Stars being without a couple of key pieces on Tuesday as Miro Heiskanen and Roopie Hintz missed the game.

While it factors in marginal home-ice advantage, the Wings have wider splits than most when it comes to their win percentage. The opening moneyline for the Wings is +160 which converts to a 38.5% implied win probability. That’s a 4.5% difference in comparison to my model which is good enough for me to take a shot with the underdog in Motown. 

Pick: Red Wings (+160 or better)

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