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NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Stars vs. Coyotes (Sunday, Feb. 20)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Stars vs. Coyotes (Sunday, Feb. 20) article feature image

Via Glenn James/Getty Images. Pictured: Scott Wedgewood

  • The Coyotes host the Stars on Sunday night in Glendale.
  • The Coyotes are playing the second leg of a back-to-back, but is there value on the home underdogs against a struggling Stars team?
  • Grant White breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Stars vs. Coyotes Odds

Stars Odds -240
Coyotes Odds +205
Over/Under 5.5o-120
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Arizona Coyotes will play on the second consecutive night when they host the Dallas Stars on Sunday. The Desert Dogs blew a third period lead against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday; however, they were never in control of that game.

The good news is they’ll face a less sincere effort from the Stars, who have been flat over their past few games. How should we approach this Central Division matchup?

Stars Need Offense to Step Up

The Stars continue to play a defense-first system, and that’s been evident over their recent sample. Dallas has limited its opponents to seven or fewer High-Danger Chances in four of their past five outings. Scoring chances have been equally hard to come by, as the Stars have held their opponents to 21 or fewer scoring opportunities in the same amount of games. That defensive structure has helped the Stars limit their opponents to 11 goals over the five-game sample.

The issue more recently has been Dallas’s inability to generate any meaningful offense. The Stars have been held to nine or fewer quality chances in three straight games, getting out-chanced in all three.

Those lackluster performances contribute to Dallas getting outplayed in all three games, posting a cumulative 35.3% Expected Goals-For rating. The most telling stat arising from their three-game slide is their decreased output, as Dallas has scored just one goal at five-on-five over that span.

There’s a disconnect in the Stars’ metrics, which is illustrated over their recent performances. Despite the metrics working against them in all three contests, the Stars are 2-1-0. If we look back further, Dallas has been outplayed in six of their past nine games, a stretch in which they have gone 6-3-0. In doing so, the Stars have elevated their PDO to 1.025 over that span and should see enter a correction phase as outcomes balance with their metrics.

Coyotes on the Rise

For the second consecutive game and third time over their past five, the Coyotes put up an Expected Goals-For rating in the 30.0% range against the Kings. Although it’s unlikely that those efforts will lead to more wins, we have seen improved performances from the Yotes more recently.

Arizona has put up Expected Goals-For percentages above 50.0% in three of their past seven. We’re also seeing improved production metrics, which leads to increased output.

The Coyotes have attempted 13 or more High-Danger and 24 Scoring Chances in three of their past five. That has resulted in 11 goals over their past three games, with the team shooting percentage climbing to 15.9% over that span.

It’s also worth noting that the Yotes offense has been much more effective at home over their past 10 games, scoring on 11.1% of shots or more in five of those games.

The other factor worth considering is that the Yotes elected to start Karel Vejmelka on Saturday, which means that Scott Wedgewood is likely making his triumphant return to the crease. Wedgewood hasn’t played since February 1 but was starting to heat up before going down with a chest injury, posting a 94.8% Save Percentage in the two games prior. The Coyotes will be hoping that Wedgewood picks up where he left off.

Stars vs. Coyotes Pick

Neither team looks great coming into Sunday’s contest, but the betting market could be overvaluing the Stars. Arizona’s offense has been much better at home over their past 10 games, and they are getting more impressive offensive efforts.

Conversely, Dallas’s metrics have nosedived over their recent sample, but that hasn’t caught up with them yet. We’re using tonight’s spot to back the underdog home side, with a play on the 60-minute draw, anticipating this one getting sorted out in overtime or a shootout.

Pick: Coyotes +205, 60-Minute Draw +350

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