NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kraken vs. Stars Game 5 (Thursday, May 11)
Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jared McCann of the Seattle Kraken
Kraken vs. Stars Odds
|Over/Under||6 (+105/ -125)|
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Game 5 of the Western Conference takes place Thursday night between the Seattle Kraken and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Seattle continues to receive little respect from oddsmakers and will skate as a heavy underdog at +170 in this matchup.
Seattle was priced at +10000 (100-1) to win the Cup entering the season. They were priced as long as +4500 to win the cup entering the playoffs. In all six road games this postseason, they have closed as +170 underdogs or longer, and they have won four of those games.
Oftentimes we see an undervalued side provide betting value all playoffs long in the NHL, and so far this season that has been the Kraken. Teams can fall into the right rhythm of holding less of the play yet still manage to insulate goaltenders well from truly dangerous chances. That is something Seattle has done effectively during this surprising run.
When the Kraken face off against a team like Dallas or Colorado, they are not going to own more of the overall play. But if you can avoid the more critical mistakes, it opens up an avenue for underdogs.
Seattle has played to a 48.88 expected goal % at even strength in 11 playoff games. Against Dallas, the Kraken own a mark of just 46.91%.
Part of the reason it was difficult to imagine the Kraken making a Cinderella-type run, despite their well-rounded team play in the final two months, was that Philipp Grubauer profiled as a well-below-average starting goaltender.
Grubauer has put those concerns to rest so far with a +2.2 GSAx and .909 save % in 11 playoff matchups. He was pulled in Game 4 but was not the reason the game got out of hand. He should make the start tonight.
Top scorer Jared McCann made a relatively steady return to the lineup in Game 4. McCann skated just 13:11 in a rare fourth-line role. He managed three shots and played to a game-high 89% expected goal rating. He will likely bump back into the top six tonight in this critical matchup after a solid showing.
One of the reasons many believed this season could be different for the Stars was that they had received more offensive contributions further down the lineup in the regular season. That has been the case in the playoffs, and it was a point that was well-proven in Game 4.
The Stars’ power play has also been elite during this postseason. They have put up a 34.3% success rate and came up with an important goal in Game 4.
The problem few would have expected was inconsistent play from Jake Oettinger in goal. Oettinger has played to a -1.5 GSAx and .903 save % in 10 appearances.
The fact that Oettinger has not provided a significant edge compared to Grubauer is a key reason that this series has been closer than expected.
Kraken vs. Stars Pick
The Stars were the better regular season team, and by some margin, they have been the better team in this series. A betting price of -200 is a heavy favorite by the standards of the NHL playoffs, though, and I do not believe the gap between these teams is currently that wide.
The Kraken have been very competitive with the Stars in this series. A 2-2 scoreline entering Game 5 is exactly what the score deserves to be.
The current -200 moneyline suggests the Stars would win this game 67% of the time. You would then need to believe they take it seven out of 10 times to have betting value. I think this game is closer to 60/40 and that we have a good enough price to take a shot with the Kraken.
Seattle was excellent in tough road matchups to close out the series versus Colorado. They are defensively capable and offer a deep collection of talented shooters. The +170 odds are too long here, and we are priced into backing the underdog Kraken.
Pick: Seattle Kraken (+170 at bet365)
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