Senators vs. Stars NHL Betting Odds, Picks: Target Thursday’s Total

Senators vs. Stars NHL Betting Odds, Picks: Target Thursday’s Total article feature image

Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jason Robertson (left) and Roope Hintz (right) of the Dallas Stars.

  • The Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators hit the ice on Thursday night.
  • The Stars enter as favorites, courtesy of a stellar trio in Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz.
  • Check out how Nick Martin is betting Senators vs. Stars below.

Senators vs. Stars Odds

Senators Odds+164
Stars Odds-200
Over/Under6.5 (-120 / -102)
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Senators have been arguably the NHL's greatest letdown this season, as it enters this matchup with the Stars positioned dead last in the Atlantic Division at 10-14-1.

Led by Jason Robertson, Dallas has been one of the most formidable offensive sides in the league with a 3.77 goal-per-game average and enters this contest with a 14-7-5 record.

Can Ottawa keep Dallas in check Thursday and get moving in the right direction?

Ottawa Senators

The additions of Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux — plus talented rookies Shane Pinto and Jake Sanderson — made the Senators a team that seemed destined to fill the opposing net effectively night after night this season.

At nearly the quarter-way mark, that narrative has not come to fruition. The Senators have scored just 3.08 goals per game, which is the 19th-best mark in the league.

Dating back to Nov. 7 (13 games), the Senators have generated 3.65 expected goals per 60, which is the second-highest mark in the entire league over that span.

Therefore, the Senators actually do seem to be producing offensive chances at the rate most expected. In time, it seems most likely that Ottawa will trend upward in that regard.

Throughout that same one-month sample, Ottawa has allowed 3.50 expected goals against per 60, which is the ninth-highest mark in the league. In combination with their lofty xGF/60, the data illustrates the Senators are playing some of the most high-event hockey in the league.

Statistically, Ottawa's goaltending hasn't been as shaky as many may assume, and its trio of netminders has still combined to produce a +11.3 goals saved above expected rating.

Playing behind Ottawa's defense is clearly not easy for a goaltender, and Matt Murray appears to be a prime example. Murray owned a +3.2 goals saved above expected rating last season with Ottawa but was widely targeted as a key reason for the Sens' struggles. Now, he's flourishing behind a better defensive club in Toronto.

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Dallas Stars

You don't have to tell Dallas that Murray is indeed playing well this season. The Stars generated 44 shots on Murray Tuesday with a ton of high-quality looks, only to be shut out, 4-0.

The game still illustrated a point that has been prominent all season long, however.

The 2022-23 Stars are far more potent than any recent reiteration. Led by arguably the best line in hockey, Dallas has generated offense extremely well thus far.

Analytically, the Stars have generated the sixth-most expected goals this season, which is only slightly beneath their actual sky-high production.

Robertson's recent scoring bender has rightfully been one of the NHL's greatest stories this year, as he's scored 23 goals in 26 games thus far.

The trio of Robertson, Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz has now produced at an incredible rate for a massive sample dating back 2.5 seasons. They were always going to dominate this year — even if nobody saw this level of production coming.

It was less obvious that Stars captain Jamie Benn would bounce back with a point per game and lead the way for some improved depth scoring from Dallas away from that top unit.

Altogether, the Stars' style does appear different under new head coach Pete DeBoer, and the days of Dallas playing for a 2-2 tie at the start of every contest seem long gone.

Jake Oettinger, who should start in goal Thursday, has been a rock for the Stars this season with a +5.4 GSAx and .916 save percentage.

Senators vs. Stars Pick

The Senators have not produced offense anywhere near the level their underlying analytics suggest they should this season. The talents on hand suggests that trend will not continue moving forward.

Ottawa's offense is currently being undervalued by oddsmakers entering this contest. I believe it's very reasonable the Senators will reside in the top third in regard to offensive production from here on out.

What's likely to continue over a larger sample is Ottawa's soft goaltending tandem allowing a ton of goals behind a very subpar defensive corps.

That makes me believe Senators games will be far more high-scoring than average NHL contests moving forward, and a matchup with Dallas — which has produced offense very effectively — is a logical time to target that narrative.

Scoring remains up significantly in the NHL this season and is still hanging around the 6.5 goal-per-game mark past the season's quarter-way mark.

When we get a matchup that's likely to be high-scoring at nearly even money, it's a good time to target the over. I like a play on this total to go over 6.5 at -105, and I would play that to -110.

Pick: Over 6.5 (-105 · Play to -110)

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