Take 'Under' As Our NHL Pick As Both Stars & Devils Struggle With Offense

Dana Lane

Friday, March 4, 2016 7:37 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 4, 2016 7:37 PM GMT

The Dallas Stars face the New Jersey Devils who are tied for the last playoff spot in the East. See my quick preview on the two teams & my NHL pick for tonight's game. 

New Jersey Devils vs. Dallas Stars
It looks like Patrick Sharp and Jordie Benn will be out for this one as the club tries to heal in anticipation of the playoffs. Having the Stars fourth leading scorer certainly will hinder their scoring ability to put this game over the total of 5 points and the NHL odds boards have been reflecting this all morning. Sharp has played in every game for Dallas so not having him the lineup should create a period of offensive uncertainty. 

Benn has a lower body injury that will keep him out for the next three games at least. 

Prior to their 5-4 overtime victory against the Predators, Thursday, New Jersey had only scored three times while mired in an 0-3 slump. 

Corey Schneider will be back in goal for New Jersey after having Thursday off. Schneider owns a fantastic 3-1-1 mark with a 2.09 goals against in his last five starts against Dallas. The Devils rely heavily on Schneider because offensively they are one of the worst in the league averaging only 2.2 goals per contest which should neutralize the fact that Annti Niemi has more success against the teams that will put little pressure on him. He is not a goaltender that you'll expect 30 saves a night from. 

I expect a better effort from the Stars defensively especially after Jamie Benn basically called out his teammates by saying that their best players have to be their best players while playing the right way. He went on to say that it was getting old and it starts in the defensive end. Pure speculation but when looking at who he could be speaking of it's reasonable to say it was John Klingberg who is matched up with newly acquired Kris Russell as the first defensive pair. 

Zone exit awareness has to be sharper. If you're Cody Eakin you can't just casually skate up the middle with a for checker right behind him. His sloppiness allowed for an opportunity the other way. When they skated 5 on 5 against Nashville, Dallas only had four quality scoring chances. 

The Stars powerplay is still relaying too much on rebounds meaning they are getting good chances. 

New Jersey won game one 3-2 back in January. 

 

Betting Analysis
To sum this all up neither team looks like their offense is at their peak. New Jersey has always had the reputation of playing a little tentative against the Western Conference. In their last 90 against the West, the 'under' has hit at a blistering 52-23-14. More specifically against the Central the 'under' is 33-12-7 in their last 52 games.

Head to head the 'under' is 9-3-2 in the last 14 games. Interesting fact, the Devils are 30-13-11 when playing on 0 days rest.  

We are not going against the trends here. My NHL pick is to go 'Under' on this one. @DanaLaneSports 

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2862265, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,19,92,238,169], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NHL Pick: Under 5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

comment here