Red Wings vs. Stars NHL Betting Odds & Pick: Expect Low-Scoring Central Division Matchup (Monday, April 19)
Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Oettinger.
- The Red Wings look to play spoiler on Monday night when they take on the Stars.
- Dallas, coming off a Stanley Cup Final appearance last season, is playing catch-up in the playoff race and can't afford many more slip-ups.
- Pete Truszkowski breaks down where he sees betting value in this Central Division matchup.
Red Wings vs. Stars Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+190|
|Time||Monday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via BetMGM|
The Dallas Stars find themselves in a heated playoff race in the NHL’s Central Division. With under one month left in the regular season, the defending Western Conference champions find themselves three points out of a playoff spot.
There is some reason for hope, however. Dallas has three games in hand on the fourth-place Nashville Predators. More importantly, the Stars have points from eight of their last 10 games.
On the other side of this matchup, the Detroit Red Wings’ season was basically over when it started. They sit in last place in the Central Division and have won just 16 of 46 games. It’s no surprise they’re substantial underdogs in this contest against the desperate Stars.
Let’s dig into see if Detroit is worthy of a bet in the spoiler role.
Detroit Red Wings
Coming into the season, expectations were low for the Detroit Red Wings. The team is going through a rebuilding phase and was coming off a historically bad 2019-20 campaign. That means nobody is shocked to see them in the basement of the division.
However, as bad as Detroit has been, they have been an improved bunch this season. The Red Wings are at least competitive in games, for the most part, and their underlying metrics suggest they’re a bad, but not dreadful, team. They rank 24th in expected goal rate which is about as much as can be expected from this group.
Detroit’s biggest improvement this season has come in the defensive zone. The Wings’ 2.2 expected goals against per hour at 5-on-5 ranks in the top half of the league. They’re allowing just 9.6 high-danger chances against per hour, which is in the top third of the league. They rank 23rd in goals against per hour at 5-on-5, which again, is unspectacular but not horrid.
Unfortunately, the Red Wings’ offense hasn’t been able to pick up their defensive improvement. Detroit ranks 30th with just 1.88 goals scored per hour at even strength. Only the Buffalo Sabres are scoring less. Detroit ranks 30th in expected goals scored and 28th in high-danger chances created.
Thomas Greiss is expected to be in between the pipes for Detroit, which has been a good thing lately for it. Greiss’ stats are rough for the season, but a lot of that can be attributed to his slow start. In April, Greiss has a 3-1-2 record while stopping 92.9% of the shots he has faced. Based on his career track record, I’m willing to disregard his first few weeks of this season.
It’s been a whirlwind of a few months for the Dallas Stars. They went on a magical run to the Stanley Cup Final in the bubble last summer but since then, they’ve had to deal with injuries to top players such as Ben Bishop, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov. On top of that, a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak and weather problems have turned their season into a series of stops and starts.
It would have been easy to write off Dallas and just say it wasn’t meant to be this season. However, the opposite has happened. Dallas is making a late push to get into the playoffs and currently sits in a decent position as we approach the stretch run. In fact, you can say the Stars are quite unlucky to even be where they are in the standings. Dallas ranks in the top 10 in expected goal rate, shot attempt share and high-danger chance percentage.
Just like last season, the Stars are impeccable defensively. No team is giving up fewer goals per hour at 5-on-5 than the 1.71 mark Dallas has posted. The underlying metrics suggest this is no fluke, as it has the second best expected goals against mark in the league.
The Stars rank top five in high-danger chances against and scoring chances allowed as well. The duo of Jake Oettinger and Anton Khudobin have also combined for the third-best 5-on-5 save percentage in the league.
Unfortunately, like the Red Wings, the Stars’ offense has been an issue. They rank 26th in goals scored per hour at even strength and 25th in expected goals scored. Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson have all had nice seasons, but the team has definitely felt the absence of elite offensive talents like Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov.
Red Wings vs. Stars Best Bet
As the season enters its final month, it has become apparent which teams are legitimately playoff contenders and which are playing out the string. In addition, desperation levels become easier to identify. It leads to some inflated lines with teams often being larger favorites than deserved.
I do think the price on the Stars is too steep in this game, but it’s not the way I plan on attacking it.
Dallas has arguably the best team defense in the league, and they rode that unit all the way to the Stanley Cup Final seven months ago. At the same time, Detroit is one of the worst offensive units in the league. It’s hard to imagine the Red Wings scoring much, if at all in this contest.
With that being said, Dallas also struggles to score goals. The Red Wings have been improved in limiting their opponents in terms of scoring chances and shot quality. Gress has been very good over the past few games.
For that reason, I expect a low scoring game on Monday night. Dallas knows this is a game they need to win against a lesser opponent. With the game being at home, they should be able to match lines and control the game flow. The Stars are at their best in low-scoring affairs as that gives them the best chance of winning.
Pick: Under 5.5 Goals