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Stars vs. Predators Series Betting Odds, Preview: Will Big D Hold Up Against Nashville?

Credit:

Jerome Miron, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Pekka Rinne

  • The Nashville Predators are -180 favorites over the Dallas Stars in the first round of the NHL Playoffs.
  • Michael Leboff breaks down the odds and analyzes a matchup between these two Central Division rivals.

Dallas Stars vs. Nashville Predators Series Betting Odds

  • Stars odds: +150
  • Predators odds: -180

The Nashville Predators were near the top of the Stanley Cup odds again this season. After falling to a great Winnipeg Jets team in Round 2 last season, the Preds came into this season at 10-1 to win the Stanley Cup.

Nashville is still 10-1 to win it all at the start of the postseason, but things have certainly changed since then and now.

The Predators have been up-and-down throughout the season and it took a slump from the Winnipeg Jets and an 8-2-1 run through their last 11 games to win the division. Injuries, inconsistent play and other factors played a part in the stop-start nature to Nashville’s season, but it looks like they righted the ship at the perfect time.

Chart courtesy of MoneyPuck.com.

The Preds will face the Dallas Stars in the first round. This is Dallas’ first trip to the postseason since 2015-16.

The Stars have a pretty clear identity. They try and win games 3-1 or 2-1, relying on solid structure and great goaltending from Ben Bishop. That organization and commitment to defense got them to the dance, but will it hold up against Nashville?

The Stars are built to play with any team of any level. Dallas won’t blow the doors off you, but the Stars are very difficult to figure out and for a team that has trouble generating scoring chances, like Nashville, that could spell trouble.

On paper this series looks pretty tight, and it shouldn’t surprise anybody if it comes down to an overtime goal or one of the goaltenders stealing the show to decide who wins this puppy.

Speaking of goaltending, both of these teams will be confident they have the right guy in net in this series.

We all could have guessed that Pekka Rinne would be good again in 2018-19 and he was, but Ben Bishop’s re-emergence as a top-tier goalie was a little more unexpected. Thanks to Dallas’ ability to suppress scoring chances, Bishop will have an opportunity to take this series over and perhaps steal it from under Nashville’s nose.

In terms of firepower, both Dallas and Nashville have high-end talent, but the scoring depth isn’t really there.

The Stars will need Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alex Radulov to bear the brunt of the scoring. The only other Stars forward, outside of those three, to eclipse 30 points this season was Mats Zuccarello, who has played two games for Dallas since coming over from the Rangers at the deadline.

Dallas does have some scoring punch on the blueline thanks to John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen, but it would be surprising to see the Stars compete in a high-scoring series.

Nashville’s best asset is its defense, led by Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and P.K. Subban. That is as good as it gets in terms of top-tier defensemen.

Up front it’s all about Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson for Nashville. If those three have trouble getting chances, that will tilt the ice towards the Stars.

The Predators are the best team in this series by a pretty good margin but the Stars have a real penchant for turning games into coin flips. Whether or not they can do that AND also end up on the right side of the flip four times is not something I’d feel comfortable betting on.

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