Stars vs. Flames Game 4 Odds & Pick (Sunday, Aug. 16): Double Down on Dallas?

Credit:

Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images. Pictured: Anton Khudobin.

  • The Calgary Flames take on the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of their NHL Playoff series at 2:00 p.m. ET in Edmonton.
  • Michael Leboff sees betting value on the Stars at -120 or cheaper for Sunday afternoon's matchup, even though Dallas has proven frustrating in the series.
  • Check out Leboff's full preview for Flames vs. Stars below.

Game 4: Calgary Flames vs. Dallas Stars Odds

Flames Odds +106 [BET NOW]
Stars Odds -122 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 5 (-121/+100) [BET NOW]
Time 2 p.m. ET
TV CNBC

Odds as of Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


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The Dallas Stars had a pretty clear identity throughout the regular season: Play good defense, get good goaltending and hope to create just enough offense to achieve results.

Dallas’ offensive struggles left it with a thin margin for error. But, its goaltenders were so good that the Stars finished with the fourth-best points percentage in the Western Conference despite finishing 30th in 5-on-5 scoring (1.96 goals per 60 minutes).

Even though Dallas struggled to find the back of the net all season, the Stars were a prime candidate for positive offensive regression. Dallas finished 13th in the NHL in expected goals (xG) per 60 minutes (2.42). By that metric, the Stars should have scored nearly a half-goal more per hour than they did over the season.

A lack of scoring talent certainly played its part in Dallas’ underachievement against its xG. Nevertheless, the Stars’ xG metric still demonstrates that this team’s ceiling is pretty high — if it could ever put everything together. Dallas has not been able to do that through three games of its best-of-7 series with the tricky Calgary Flames.

In addition to some hot-and-cold scoring, the Stars’ goaltenders have been uncharacteristically unreliable. They have been outplayed by usually inconsistent Cam Talbot at the other end of the ice.

If either Anton Khudobin or Ben Bishop can deliver steady goaltending, then the Stars still have a good chance at flipping this series. Dallas has largely controlled play at 5-on-5:

Calgary Flames Dallas Stars
Goals 5 6
Expected Goals 2.97 4.75
Shot Attempts 110 145

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 cited from Evolving Hockey.


The betting market for this series has been tight from the jump, and it remains that way ahead of Game 4 with Dallas as a slight -122 favorite for Sunday afternoon’s tilt.

It may be a bit surprising that the odds haven’t moved towards the Flames, since they have won two of the three games. But this line’s stubborn resiliency speaks to the way Dallas has been playing — even in losing efforts.

Calgary Flames Dallas Stars
Game 1 -113 -103
Game 2 -108 -108
Game 3 +102 -120
Game 4 +106 -122

There may not be that much that separates these two squads, but I’ve seen nothing from this series to sway my thinking that Dallas is the stronger side. The Stars been a frustrating team to bet, but I am not going to let that deter me now.

At the time of writing (Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET) Dallas is sitting between -115 and -125 across the market. I don’t think these odds will move that much from that range, so I’m in at -115 (PointsBet) and would bet it up to -120.

Pick: Stars -115 (Play up to -120).

[Bet now at PointsBet. NJ and IN only.]

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