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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Wild

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

Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Oettinger.

  • The Wild host the Stars in a rematch of a 6-5 thriller from earlier this month.
  • The Wild have won seven of their past eight games and the Stars have won three of their past four.
  • Tony Sartori digs into the matchup and offers up his best bet below.

Stars vs. Wild Odds

Stars Odds +102
Wild Odds -125
Over/Under 6 (-105/-115)
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV BSN
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

We have an exciting Central Division tilt set to take place as the third-place Minnesota Wild host the first-place Dallas Stars. These clubs were involved in a slugfest that Minnesota won 6-5 via shootout the last time they played.

Will we see another high-scoring affair between these teams, or can the goaltending step up? Let’s look at the odds and offer up a pick.

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Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars have been involved in many low-scoring contests recently. There have been six or fewer total goals scored in seven of their past nine games. That trend should continue in this matchup with goaltender Jake Oettinger slated to take the crease.

This season, Oettinger is 15-5-3 with a .919 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.43 goals against average (GAA). Entering this matchup in particularly good form, Oettinger is 5-2 with a .929 SV% and a 2.12 GAA over his past seven starts.

There were six or fewer goals scored in six of those seven outings. Another reason for these low-scoring games is the fact that Dallas’ offense is starting to fall into a period of regression, which isn’t surprising given the metrics.

At 5-on-5, the Stars rank sixth in the league in goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60), but 12th in xGF/60. Dallas’ offense should continue to trend downward against Minnesota, one of the best defenses in the league.


Minnesota Wild

Boasting one of the better defensive systems in the league under coach Dean Evason, the Minnesota Wild rank third in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). Because of this stellar defense, the Wild have been involved in many low-scoring contests and there have been six or fewer goals scored in seven of their past eight games.

Another cause of these low-scoring games has been Minnesota’s lack of offensive creativity. Outside of Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, this team struggles mightily to score at even strength.

At 5-on-5, the Wild rank 26th in the league in xGF/60. Slated to start between the pipes for Minnesota is goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The future Hall-of-Famer struggled out of the gates this season, but has been on fire recently.

Over Fleury’s past three starts, he is 3-0 with a .959 SV% and a 1.00 GAA. There were less than five goals scored in all three of those contests.

This strong stretch of goaltending is likely to continue against the Stars, a team Fleury has dominated over the past few seasons. Across his past eight starts against Dallas, the Wild’s netminder is 6-1-1 with a .950 SV% and a 1.60 GAA.


Stars vs. Wild Pick

The under has been a hot bet for each team recently, a trend that should continue in this matchup. Oettinger continues to excel between the pipes for Dallas, and in front of him is a defense that ranks in the top half of the league in xGA/60 at 5-on-5.

Across the ice, Fleury is starting to find his form behind one of the best defensive systems in the league. Meanwhile, both teams have struggled to put the puck in the back of the net recently.

In an Oettinger/Fleury battle, the under is the play. However, I would not play this if the total drops to 5.5.

Pick: Under 6 | Play up to -130

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