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Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Stars vs. Blackhawks Betting Preview (May 9)

Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Stars vs. Blackhawks Betting Preview (May 9) article feature image

Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Anton Khudobin (left) and Tyler Seguin (right).

  • The Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars will hit the ice to face each other on Sunday night.
  • The Stars recently saw their playoff hopes evaporate, making betting this game even more interesting.
  • Matt Russell explains how to do that in his full betting preview below.

Stars vs. Blackhawks Odds

Stars Odds -165
Blackhawks Odds +140
Over/Under 6
Time Sunday, 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday morning and via BetMGM.

I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. I would just be hammering on the snooze button like Tom Wilson on an unsuspecting Ranger.

Following three and a half months of playing the same seven teams over and over and after putting together a big effort for a win against the team that’s been your nemesis, the Stars had to sit and watch their season come to a virtual end in a hotel in Chicago on Saturday night. 

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Dallas Stars

In the season’s final weekend and in many ways, we can throw out the analytics as we try to figure out which teams feel like playing hockey. We’ll see which teams think that there’s a reason to get up in the morning on game day. One would understand if the Stars just wanted to go home. 

After the season started later for them than everyone else thanks to a preseason COVID-19 outbreak, they also had to endure the massive power outages in Texas due to storms a few weeks later. All of this added up to an intensely condensed schedule even beyond the unusually tight 56-gamer that everyone signed up for before the season.

A rough start despite building strong metrics at even strength put the Stars behind the proverbial 8-ball. They were good enough during 5-on-5 play this season to be third in the Central Division with an 8% above-average rating, according to my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model as heard on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast.

As if their schedule strain wasn’t enough, the Stars spent much of the season playing high-stress games that ended in overtime or a shootout. Not closing more of those games cost them the spot, as they lead the league in OT/SO losses.

Last year, Dallas’ season ended with a stab to the heart in the NHL’s final game, as it watched the Lightning hoist the Stanley Cup. This year, it’s been more of a deflation. 

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Live win probabilities for your bets

Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.

Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.

xG numbers and advanced stats cited from Evolving Hockey, MoneyPuck and Natural Stat Trick.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks haven’t had anything to play for for a while now.

They’re rated the worst team in the Central Division by my model, and they’ve recently suffered a six-game losing streak. However, the Hawks showed me something on their recent trip to Carolina.

After getting worked over in the first of three games, they played the Hurricanes pretty evenly at 5-on-5 in the next two games, garnering 4.52 expected goals to 4.57 for the Canes. This effort was rewarded with a late-tying goal in the final game and an overtime winner to send them home happy.

The Hawks returned to Chicago after the game on Thursday and were allotted a couple of days of rest before finishing up the season with a pair of home games against the Stars.

While the playoffs have been out of the question for a few weeks now, the Blackhawks have had success against the Stars this season, going 4-2 on the moneyline, thanks to a pair of OT wins early in the season.

Not surprisingly, the Stars have been better at even strength during these matchups with an expected goals advantage of 10.91-9.09. It’s par for the course that the Stars wouldn’t get the full value of points toward the standings that you’d expect from the better team. 

Betting Analysis & Pick

These numbers have been accumulated over the course of the season and don’t factor in heartbreak.

So, how do you account for the Stars’ deflation after watching their season come to a virtual end last night? Well, the market opened the Blackhawks as +160 underdogs before the Predators beat the Hurricanes to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central.

That +160 price implies a win probability of 38.5%. Since that death blow to the Stars’ playoff chances, the market has adjusted, dropping the price to a more widely available Chicago +130, which implies a win probability of 43.5%. This infers that the market thinks that the Blackhawks have a 5% better chance to win now that the Stars have nothing to play for. 

With all things being equal, my model thinks the fair price for this game is DAL -126/CHI +126, so it has crept down into an area where you’re not getting any technical value with the Blackhawks.

That said, if you believe the situation favors Chicago at a greater win probability shift of 5%, then it’s still worth playing at +130. For those who read yesterday’s preview of the Predators and Hurricanes game and took my recommendation of locking in a Preds-Hawks parlay, you were able to secure a +160 price on tonight’s game. If that’s the case, I would let that ride and not add on at a worse price. 

Pick: Blackhawks (+130 or better)

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