Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST.
8:30 PM EST. OT included. The Stars went into Chicago last night and defeated the Blackhawks 4-2 but they were not the better team. Still, the Stars are often the better team and have the puck possession numbers to prove it. They have now won four in a row while outscoring the opposition over that span by an imposing count of 16-5. The Stars’ stock is high and they’re good but we have some concerns. First, Dallas has played a very easy schedule lately. In nine of its last 10 games, Dallas has faced Edmonton, Detroit, Columbus, Buffalo, Florida, Los Angeles, Arizona, and the Rangers. A team could get into a lot of bad habits playing those aforementioned teams. Its toughest two games over that span came against Chicago last night and Toronto late last month. The Stars lost to the Leafs and were the second best team against Chicago. An even closer look at Dallas reveals a team that has four wins in 15 games against top-10 competition. Unless you’re ESPN, you know that the Pens are a top-10 team. Check that, they’re a top-3 team.
Pittsburgh is coming off a 5-4 victory over the upstart Golden Knights but they had a 5-2 lead in the third before Vegas scored a couple to make it look better than it was. Matt Murray allowed one real soft goal from an impossible angle and the Pens hit five goal posts including one with the net empty. The score should’ve been in the 7-3 range and that’s what the Pens do to the opposition when they show up and play hard. For well over two months, Pittsburgh’s analytics, both offensively and defensively, are top-6 in the league and getting better with each passing week. After an emotional night and victory over Vegas, the question is whether or not the Pens will bring it here and we’re suggesting they will for two reasons. First, the Pens are 10-15-2 on the road and are putting extra importance on this brief, two-game trip to start racking up some road wins, as that is one of the keys to another a deep run. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, the Penguins dad’s will join them on this two-game trip, which is also very motivating. Said Sidney Crosby, “We don't get to really see them a lot during the season, especially, and just to be able to ride the bus, go to hotels, go to dinners, interact with all the other guys and their dads, this is something that is always pretty special. We are excited about it, and we want to give them a couple good games here”. Enough said.
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Pittsburgh +102 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.04)