Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Seattle +127 over Dallas
9:40 PM EST. OT Included. Public and/or market perception is that Dallas is superior to Seattle and that the Stars are a legit threat to go all the way. That market perception is based on a rock-solid season record that saw the Stars win 47 games and lose just 21 with another 14 losses occurring in extra time. Only Calgary and its rancid goaltending lost more OT games this season than Dallas, which sort of confirms that Jake Oettinger isn’t as good as advertised.
Speaking of Oettinger and Dallas’ perceived greatness on defense and goaltending, the defensive integrity for the Stars went off the rails Sunday night in a 7-2 loss in Game 3 of this series. What’s even more interesting is that it went off the rails at precisely the same time that Miro Heiskanen took a deflected puck to the face in front of the Stars’ net. Multiple Seattle goals would quickly follow after Heiskanen left and did not return. Dude averages about 30 minutes a game and is Dallas’ most important player by a landslide. Without him, Oettinger looks like garbage and so does the entire team. OT results strongly suggest that Oettinger is not even an average goalie, instead he was the beneficiary of Heiskanen’s talent on both ends of the ice.
Reports are that Heiskanen is a game time decision but we’d bet that he’s 100% going to play because even Stars’ coach Peter DeBoer knows that his team’s chances of winning without Heiskanen is about as good as Connor Bedard’s chances were to land in a small market (we have no idea if the NHL Lottery was fixed or not but it would probably be wise for the NHL to develop a broadcast that didn't look like they were actively trying to convince you it was rigged). In any case, no matter how one breaks it down, Dallas does not deserve to broad chalk based on performance over an extended period of time. We’ll reiterate that Dallas beat up on cupcakes all year and had one of the worst records in the entire NHL against top-10 teams.
Seattle’s success in their two series thus far is not a fluke. Nothing drives that home quite like their two wins over the Stars in this series. In Game 1, Seattle got five goals from five different players. In Game 3, the Kraken got seven goals from seven different players, at three different strengths. Yanni Gourde scored short-handed, Justin Schultz scored on the power play and five others scored at five-on-five. By the way, their 40-goal scorer, Jared McCann, who appears to be progressing towards a return, hasn’t even touched the ice yet in this series.
There’s nothing suggesting the Stars should be favored in Seattle other than market perception. That Dallas was -165 at home and Seattle (who had one less win this year than Dallas) is a dog at home is preposterous. We’re just playing the value….again
Seattle +127 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.54)