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NHL Best Bets: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, January 4th
Dallas Stars -205
I’m tracking all my plays on Betstamp: a third party bet tracking app. The bets reveal themselves after the games start. I keep my own personal records as well and they may differ slightly from Betstamp due to several factors, but for the most part, it should line up closely.
All game lines via DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook, but I will sometimes use the consensus odds from the VSiN NHL Odds page if it is a better price and widely available. All recommended bets will be accompanied by recommended stake size. All stats via Evolving Hockey and Natural Stat Trick.
Bet: Dallas -205
Dallas had its four-game win streak snapped in Los Angeles on Tuesday, but there’s a good chance the team will earn back those two points in Anaheim on Wednesday. The Stars will be tired, but, stylistically, they’re an especially bad matchup for the Ducks. Nobody likes betting a big favorite, but this is a bargain, and I can’t pass it up.
Dallas is the third-best offensive team in the NHL right now, and they have the second-best power play and the fourth-best penalty kill. Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz are leading the way, but they’re getting big contributions from the ageless Joe Pavelski and a rejuvenated Jamie Benn, who has 15 goals and 36 points in 39 games.
Even though scoring is up, the Ducks grade out as one of the worst offensive teams of the last 20 years and they rarely score more than two goals in a game. Dallas doesn’t allow many shots, and their big, strong forwards aren’t going to give the Ducks’ weak offense much room to work.
Anaheim is home to the second-worst power play, the third-worst penalty kill in the league, but more importantly, no team has allowed more shots or goals (per 60 minutes) since 2007-08. In other words, the Ducks are the worst defensive team in 16 years.
When these two teams met back on December 1st in Dallas, the Stars won 5-0. The win probably won’t come that easy this time around, but Scott Wedgewood has been solid in the backup role, allowing two or fewer goals in seven of his last nine starts, and Dallas has been nearly perfect (10-1) as big favorites (-175 and up) this season. The road team should be priced around -235.
NHL News and Notes for Wednesday, January 4th
Tampa Bay Lightning at Minnesota Wild: Backup goaltender Brian Elliott earned improved his record to 8-2 with a 4-1 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago on Tuesday and that means Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to start on Wednesday in Minnesota.