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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Stars (April 3)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Stars (April 3) article feature image

Via Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Pavelski #16 of the Dallas Stars celebrates his power-play goal during the second period against the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on March 13, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.

  • The Stars are home favorites when the Predators visit Dallas on Monday night.
  • The Predators need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive while the Stars are battling for playoff seeding.
  • Greg Liodice breaks down the matchup and shares his betting pick below.

Predators vs. Stars Odds

Predators Odds+158
Stars Odds-192
Over/Under6.5 (+114/-140)
Time8:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After a massive win on Saturday, the Nashville Predators head to Dallas to take on the Stars. Nashville is still alive in the playoff hunt, but its chances are dwindling. The Preds have gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, so tonight’s game is huge for them.

Dallas is sitting pretty in playoff position but is fighting for home ice. The Stars took a hard loss to the team they’re battling in the Avalanche on Saturday and overall have been mediocre, going 5-4-1 in their last 10.

Here’s a look at the odds, as well as a betting pick and prediction for the Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars.

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Predators Struggling to Produce

Tommy Novak is a name that people should get acclimated to. The second-year player is fresh off a four-point game on Saturday and has 38 points in 44 games. Matt Duchene is another player who has carried his weight. While this season is a downgrade to last, he’s still a key contributor. It remains to be seen if captain Roman Josi plays as he’s day-to-day, but he has missed the past two weeks.

Nashville has a bottom-three even strength offensive team over the past two weeks with a 37.75 xGF% (Expected Goals). To make matters worse, the Preds power play has also been horrific, only scoring 17.4% of the time with the man advantage.

Defensively it hasn’t been much better, although the penalty kill is solid, stuffing the opposition 81.7% of the time. The Preds, however, are 29th with a 3.31 xGA/60 over the past two weeks.

I think it’s a safe bet that Juuse Saros plays in this bout. The former Vezina candidate thrives off more work, and it shows in his numbers. He’s playing to a +41.6 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) and a .918 SV%

Dallas’ Defense Shining

The Stars are under a new regime, as Jason Robertson set the franchise record for scoring just recently. The sniper has 42 goals with 55 assists. His partner Roope Hintz is averaging a point per game, while wily vets Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski are acting as huge producers. Benn is having a resurgence season after struggling for years and is becoming the Benn of old.

What once was a major strength, their 5-on-5 attack has mellowed out. They’re 21st in Expected Goals with a 46.99 xGF%, but luckily the power play has stayed strong. Dallas still has a top-10 power play, scoring 23.2% of the time.

There are very few teams that are better than the Stars on the defensive end. Over these two weeks, Dallas is sixth with a 2.4 xGA/60. The penalty kill also ranks third by stifling the man advantage at an 83.6% pace.

Jake Oettinger is going through a remarkable stretch, where he’s played every game since  February 18th. Oettinger has had himself a great year, playing to a +9.1 GSAx, and a .917 SV%.

Predators vs. Stars Pick

While the Predators are not the ideal offensive team, they’ve shown that they can hang with the big boys. This has mostly been because of Saros’s elite goaltending, but that still says a lot. If backup Kevin Lankinen starts, this could be a bit uglier.

For Nashville, I just don’t see the star power though. The Predators have great young players in Novak and Luke Evangelista, but they are missing two, possibly three, critical pieces to their core.

Dallas has an all around exceptional team loaded with depth and players who can pack a punch, no matter who’s in net. If they weren’t going through a mediocre stretch where it was most important, I’d argue the Stars are a great bet for the Stanley Cup.

No matter how dull things are right now, you can’t ignore that they still outrank the Predators in nearly every category. They’re also home, so you can bank that the crowd will be raucous as they look to officially clinch a playoff spot.

Pick: Dallas Stars 3-Way ML (-130)

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