Offenses in Stars-Capitals Game Likely to Send Total 'Over'

Dana Lane

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 4:18 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 4:18 PM UTC

Tonight's matchup in Washington has important playoff implications, especially for a desperate Dallas team playing the final game of a six-game road trip.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]Tuesday NHL: Stars vs. CapitalsFree NHL Pick: Over 5.5 (-106)Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The Dallas Stars (38-27-8, 84 points, +12 goal differential) are in a dogfight for the West's last wild-card spot, trailing Anaheim by two points with nine games left. The Stars have lost five straight, making this a must-win game. The Washington Capitals (41-24-7, 89, +11) have a two- point lead over Pittsburgh for supremacy in the Metro Division. The puck drops at 7 p.m. ET.

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IT'S GAME DAY! The Stars will conclude their six-game road trip tonight in Washington against the Capitals at 6:00 PM. #GoStars

— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 20, 2018

On the NHL odds board it appears the public likes the Stars' chances. The Capitals opened as -145 favorites but money poured in on the Stars, pushing the moneyline down to a low of -130 at Pinnacle and a high of -136 at JustBet. Either way the books seem to need the Capitals, even though the percentage of bets indicates the majority of tickets are on Washington. It’s shaping up to be a classic pro’s vs Joe’s.

The total opened at 5.5 (over, -120) but has been bet in our favor, allowing us to lay just -106 (over) at Pinnacle or a high of -115 (over) at Bookmaker. Always good news when you’re getting value on your wager. I would get this bet in now because I’m anticipating some buy back on the "over."

The last time these teams met, Washington stole a 4-3 overtime decision in Dallas. Braden Holtby made 33 saves and Andre Burakovsky tallied two goals and an assist along with a +3 to support the win. Dallas goalie Ben Bishop gave up four goals on just 28 shots.

Kari Lehtonen (12-10-3, .913, 2.46) will start in net for the Stars tonight. Washington's probable starter is Philipp Grubauer (11-9-3, .922, 2.37).

Many people feel that if the Stars can just get into the postseason they could be dangerous. I’m not sure I feel that way considering they had 73 games to show off just how “dangerous” they could be and they’re still on the outside of the postseason looking in.

So, we have two scenarios that could happen that would push this game "over" the total. One, Dallas comes alive and puts up at least three goals, which would mean Washington would have to hold below its home average of three goals a game. The second option is that Washington has a two- or three-goal lead with a few minutes left but still "under" the number. We saw this in Arizona on Monday night when Calgary was desperate for a win and allowed three empty-net goals with nothing to lose.

I think Dallas is in the same mode as Calgary. The only way we lose this wager in our NHL picks is if the Stars hold a lead in a low-scoring affair. I’ll take a shot with the many other options instead of just one.

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