Stars vs. Islanders NHL Picks: Plenty Of Goals, Take 'Over' 5.5

Bruce Webster

Sunday, January 3, 2016 1:19 PM GMT

Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016 1:19 PM GMT

Our NHL odds analyst shares his top total NHL pick on Sunday’s game between Stars & Islanders. Go inside to find out what his NHL pick is and why he’s opted to wager on it.

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NHL Pick: Over 5.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Stars Reclaim Points Lead in League
The Dallas Stars had a pretty big lead in the NHL in terms of points, until the Washington Capitals got hot and now they are in a daily battle with the Caps for the top spot in the league. The Stars lost their lead recently, but they took it back with a win over the Predators on Thursday night, which was coupled with a Capitals loss to the Hurricanes. I am still not convinced this is the best team in the league. Sure they have scoring as they come in tops in the league in that department, but the Capitals also have a strong offense and they have something the Stars don’t have and that’s a presence like Braden Holtby in goal.

Antti Niemi has been solid in goal, but has also had a few bad moments as well, especially vs the higher scoring teams in the league, while Kari Lehtonen has been inconsistent of late. I believe it is in the crease and at the defensive end of the ice where the Stars fall just short vs the Caps. Both teams are in the top three in the league in offense, but the caps are 1st in goals allowed, while the Stars are 12th, giving up an average of 2.5 gpg, while also ranking 13th in penalty kill at 80.9%. To me the Caps are the most complete team in the league. Getting the start in this game should be Kari Lehtonen, who is 12-2 with a 2.63 GAA overall, including 7-0 with a 2.54 GAA on the road, while vs the Isles he is 6-5 with a 3.90 GAA.

 

Islanders Looking for Consistent Offense
The New York Islanders started out playing well on the offensive end of the ice, but then it all changed and they have been really mediocre and inconsistent on offense. in their last six games the Isles have totaled five goals in four of the games and 11 goals in the other two. In their last 19 games the Isles have failed to score more than three goals in back-to-back games. This is a team that is searching for offensive consistency that is for sure. Overall the Isles check in at 13th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.7 gpg, while converting on just 18.1% off their power play chances, which is 18th in the league.

John Tavares and Frans Nielsen lead the team with 14 goals apiece, while the only other double digit scorer on the team is Brock Nelson, who has 13. A bit more offensive consistency and this would be a very dangerous club as they come in ranked 4th in the league in goals allowed, giving up just 2.3 gpg, while ranking 2nd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on just 12.7% of their chances. Jaroslav Halak is slated to start on Saturday night at Pittsburgh, so Thomas Greiss should get the call here and he is 11-7 with a very solid 2.03 GAA on the year, while vs the tarts in his career he has gone 2-0 with a 2.44 GAA.    

Trends
Dallas is:

The Over is 9-3 in their last 12 in the third game of a 3-in-4 day’s situation

The Over is 5-1 in their last six vs. Eastern Conference

New York is:

The Over is 4-1-2 in the last seven meetings in New York

 

Betting Analysis
I will look for plenty of goals to be scored in this one, as the NHL Pick. The Islanders offense has been inconsistent, but still they will be taking on a very mediocre defensive team in this one. On the other side we have a dallas team that consistently puts up at least three goals per game and they should be good for at least that much here. Both teams could be a bit tired from playing last night, but I feel that will show up on defense here. I look for at least seven goals in this one so we can beat the NHL odds.

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