November 30, 2016

NHL Hockey Betting: Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL Hockey Betting:  Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins&h=253&w=372&zc=1

The Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t been in great form lately though they are just four points back of the Metropolitan Division leading New York Rangers. The defending Stanley Cup Champions are 4-5-1 in their last ten games and coming off a loss to the (potentially) resurgent New York Islanders side. The Dallas Stars are off their pace of a year ago but are still ‘in the mix’ in the most insanely tough division in hockey. At 9-9-6 and 24 points the Stars are tied with the Winnipeg Jets for 5th place in the Central though the division is such a logjam (so what else is new?) that’s not really an issue at this point.

What is an issue is the Stars horrific play on the road where they’re 3-8-2. Last year they went 22-12-7 outside of ‘The Metroplex’ so it’s evident they got a ways to go. The schedule maker hasn’t done them any favors–they’ve lost three straight on the road but all at supremely nasty places to play such as Smashville, St. Louis and Detroit. The teams played only twice last season–both in the first few weeks of the campaign–but the Stars won both 3-0 at home and 4-1 at Pittsburgh. Keeping in mind that the teams usually play once a year the Penguins have won 7 of the last 11 meetings on their home ice.

Lots of injuries for both teams–Johnny Oduya, Jiri Hudler, Mattias Janmark and Ales Hemsky are out longterm for Dallas. Chris Kunitz is out for Pittsburgh though Patric Hornqvist did return to the lineup on Wednesday against the Islanders. A lot of ugly numbers so far for Dallas–they’re 0-4 in non-conference games and that’s something they’ve been reasonably good at in recent years (39-29 L3). That’s also important since for a Central Division team they’re an important way to pick up points. They’re also 2-5 -3.1 units against opponents with losing records.

Both teams have conference games on deck but despite their recent slump the Penguins sure look like the better team. In theory, it’s usually a good idea to take the Western Conference team in a comparably priced non-conference matchup but in this one we’ll go with the home team.