Senators at Stars Betting Odds, Picks: Are Dallas’ Struggles For Real?

Senators at Stars Betting Odds, Picks: Are Dallas’ Struggles For Real? article feature image
Credit:

Jerome Miron, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Roope Hintz

Ottawa Senators at Dallas Stars Odds

    • Senators odds: +180
    • Stars odds: -225
    • Over/Under: 6
    • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

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The Dallas Stars were a trendy pick to make some noise this season. After losing to the eventual champion Blues in double-overtime of Game 7 in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Stars added more offensive firepower in the offseason to complement one of the game’s most promising defense groups.

Things have not gone according to plan through 10 games.

Dallas has just one win in regulation and its 2-7-1 record is tied with Minnesota for the second-lowest point percentage in the NHL. The only team with a worst mark are the Senators, who just happen to be in town on Monday night.

Is this matchup just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Stars?

The Stars allow the third-fewest expected goals and high-danger chances per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, so the defense isn’t the problem. The Stars graded out as one of the best defensive teams in the NHL last season, so it’s no surprise to see them posting strong numbers to start this season.

Even with the defense playing well in front of them, Dallas’ goaltenders have stumbled out of the gates. In seven starts Ben Bishop owns a -3.58 Goals Saved Above Average on a .930 expected save percentage. His backup, Anton Khudobin, has a -2.09 GSAA in three starts.

The goaltending may be scuffling, but Dallas’ biggest problem is its lack of firepower up front. It would be one thing if they were getting unlucky or running cold, but the numbers suggest that Dallas is just not creating any chances.

Heatmap via HockeyViz.com

The Stars are averaging the fewest expected goals per 60 minutes (5-on-5) and only four teams are creating fewer high-danger scoring chances than Jim Montgomery’s team. That’s good news for the Senators, who are severely lacking in the talent department.

It’s only been 10 games, so chances are the Stars will find their game. And Ottawa’s statistical profile isn’t pretty. But this number is high enough to warrant a look — especially with Dallas playing its fourth game in six nights.

These odds imply that the Senators only win this game 34% of the time and considering they should be the fresher team and Dallas plays such a low-event style, I think this is a good spot to get down on the lowly Sens. There’s a good chance this game turns into a mud-fight, which should keep Ottawa in this thing and at these odds, that’s all you can ask for.

I don’t think that people will be rushing to bet the Senators, so you may be able to wait this out and get a higher number, but I think Ottawa is worth a play at any number higher than +175.