NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Oilers

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Oilers article feature image

Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers.

  • The Oilers host the Stars in Thursday night NHL action.
  • Both teams are battling for playoff position, which should up the level of play and intrigue in this contest.
  • Grant White details his best bet below.

Stars vs. Oilers Odds

Stars Odds+125
Oilers Odds-150
Over/Under6.5 (-142/+116)
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Thursday's battle between the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars re-ignites one of the fiercest playoff rivalries from the late 1990's, while also serving as a potential preview for this year's postseason.

The Oilers enter this Western Conference showdown as winners in five of their past seven. Dallas has been equally impressive over its recent schedule, winning six of its past eight. Still, the Stars ran hot for an extended period and have seen a downturn in their production metrics over the past few games. That could make it hard for them to keep pace with the high-octane Oilers.

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Dallas Stars

The Stars' offense has been on another level lately. The Central Division leaders have recorded four or more goals in seven of their previous eight, with an average of 5.1 goals per game. Although the early part of that stretch is validated with solid underlying metrics, Dallas has been unable to match that production lately. As such, the Stars are pegged as regression candidates over their coming games.

The Stars averaged 13.4 high-danger and 28.2 scoring chances per game through the first five games of the eight-game sample. Those benchmarks have fallen to 7.3 and 21.0 over the past three. Dallas was able to maintain its output up until Monday night's loss to the Vancouver Canucks, which could be foreshadowing as it continues a six-game road trip.

Moreover, we've seen a decline in Dallas' overall analytics, which has shifted the expected goals-for percentages toward its opponents. The Stars have been outplayed in two of their past three and in three of six while still managing wins in four of those outings. In reconciling their current production and anticipated regression with their scheduling woes, wins could be hard to come by for Dallas over the next few games.

Edmonton Oilers

The Stars may be showing signs of slowing down, but the Oilers are trending in the opposite direction. Connor McDavid and company are surging and forcing opponents to keep pace with their top-ranked offense. Their success is reflected in their analytics and outcomes, but more importantly, the Oilers' high-powered offense continues to sustain its elite play.

Edmonton ranks second in the Western Conference in scoring and high-danger chances per game, ratings it has improved over the past few weeks. Since February 15, the Oilers have attempted at least 10 high-danger chances in all but one of those outings. Likewise, there's been a steady increase in scoring chances, with the playoff hopefuls generating 24 or more in 11 of 14. On average, the Oilers are up to 12.5 quality chances and 26.4 scoring opportunities across their past 14 games.

Predictably, the scorching offense correlates with improved expected goals-for ratings. Edmonton has outplayed opponents in all but three of its previous 14 contests — and usually by a substantive margin. The Oilers have eclipsed the 60.0% benchmark in eight of those contests, with a cumulative expected goals-for rating of 59.3%. Still, the Oilers only have eight wins over that stretch, making them natural progression candidates.

Stars vs. Oilers Pick

This betting line doesn't accurately reflect the Oilers' chances against the Stars. Edmonton is a vastly superior team analytically and is due for a few more wins. Conversely, the Stars appear to be at the end of their hot streak, and regression concerns could be compounded by playing on the road.

We're using this spot to back the undervalued home side.

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