Blues vs. Stars NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction (Dec. 14)

Blues vs. Stars NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction (Dec. 14) article feature image
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Will Navarro/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: John Klingberg

  • The Dallas Stars are decent home favorites over the St. Louis Blues in the NHL on Tuesday night despite trailing the Blues by seven points in the standings.
  • Nick Martin sizes up the odds and argues that backing Dallas to win in regulation could give bettors some value.

Blues vs. Stars Odds

Blues Odds +130
Stars Odds -160
Over/Under 5.5
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After a frustrating 0-3 road trip, the Dallas Stars will return home with a decent chance to re-gain some ground that they lost in the Central Division race.

The St. Louis Blues hold a seven-point lead over Dallas for the No. 3 seed in the Central (the Stars have three games in hand) and a regulation result would help the victorious team’s playoff chances by over 4%, according to MoneyPuck.

Dallas’ Home-Road Splits Are Telling

Returning home from a three-game road trip empty-handed only furthered strengthened the Stars’ home-road splits. At some point you’d expect the results to balance out to some extent, but Dallas’ 4-8-1 record on the road and 9-2-1 tally at home are worth keeping in mind for the time being.

Dallas certainly deserved a better result against San Jose, as it controlled play and won the expected goals battle, 3.03 to 2.24, but this team often underperforms its offensive metrics and that’s what happened at the Shark Tank as the Stars fell, 2-1.

Roope Hintz was a late scratch for Saturday’s contest due to a non-Covid illness and his absence broke up one of the best lines in the NHL with Hintz playing pivot between Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson.

Nonetheless, the three-game slide was a bit of a surprise considering the Stars had dominated their competition in the prior 10 games, posting nine regulation wins and a +17 goal differential.

After coming into the season with four seemingly capable NHL goaltenders, the Stars have cleared up their netminding picture by waiving the struggling Anton Khudobin days after Ben Bishop announced his retirement.

It’s unclear whether Braden Holtby or Jake Oettinger will draw the start here, but both have been in strong form this season. Oettinger holds a .951 save percentage (SV%) with a +6.9 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) in seven games, while Holtby has skated to a .923 SV% and a +0.7 GSAx in 14 contests.

The Blues Are Impressively Staying Afloat

All things considered, a 5-2-3 stretch from St. Louis throughout their last 10 games is wildly positive. The Blues have been without a number of key pieces, including No. 1 goalie Jordan Binnington, top-four defenseman Justin Faulk, and top-six forwards like Brayden Schenn, David Perron and Robert Thomas.

Faulk and depth center Tyler Bozak are out of protocol, though, and should return on Tuesday night, providing a boost at both ends of the ice. Faulk’s return is especially crucial to a blueline which has allowed 2.73 expected goals per 60 minutes (xGA/60) over the last 10 games.

The Blues have struggled to a 47.21% expected goals rate over that span, which is to be expected with a depleted lineup, but there’s no denying St. Louis was fortunate to get out of its last 10 with 13 points.

Even with Faulk and Bozak returning, the Blues are looking at another game without Schenn, Perron and Thomas, plus there’s a chance we will see No. 3 goalie Charlie Lindgren in the blue paint again as Jordan Binnington has been in Covid protocol and deputy goaltender Ville Husso remains day-to-day.

Blues vs Stars Pick

Despite the results, the Stars have been the better form team in this matchup and a tough-luck loss without their No. 1 center to the Sharks on Saturday is not concerning to me. Meanwhile, the Blues fared better than they deserved by claiming a point in an overtime loss to Anaheim.

Based off of what we’ve seen from these teams of late, we can safely project that the Stars should be able to get the better of play at 5-on-5. Dallas has a much stronger defense corps and their home-ice record suggests that head coach Rick Bowness has had success getting the matchups he wants with the last change.

Dallas also projects to have a good opportunity to keep the Blues’ terrific power play at bay. The Stars have taken just 3.28 penalties per game this season, boast a strong penalty kill and won’t have to deal with Schenn, Thomas or Perron.

Should Hintz and Alex Radulov return to the lineup, I think there’s value on backing the Stars to get this win in regulation at +110, but even without those confirmations I am willing to get in on Dallas against a depleted and overperforming team.

Pick: Dallas Stars to win in regulation +110 (-105 or better)

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