The red-hot Dallas Stars hope to continue their smothering defensive ways when they host the Vegas Golden Knights Friday night. Dallas earned its sixth win in seven games last night in Minnesota, beating the Wild 4-1. The one goal against, however, snapped goaltender Ben Bishop’s shutout streak at 3+ games, and Bishop will likely get rested here on the tail end of a back-to-back as the Stars are expected to start backup Anton Khudobin. Vegas had been on a hot run of its own until its most recent outing, losing 6-3 at Calgary on Sunday to snap a six-game winning streak. It’ll be interesting to see whether having four days off to think about that loss will be a motivational advantage for the Knights tonight, or whether they’ll be a little rusty early in their return to action after a long layoff.
I gotta admit, I’m surprised to see the Golden Knights favored by this much tonight. Vegas has been a .500 team on the road all season, while the Stars’ 21-11-2 record in Dallas is one of the better home marks in the NHL. Oddsmakers seem to be putting a lot of stock in the toll that playing back-to-back (and for the third time in four nights) might take on the Stars, especially against a well-rested opponent. But from a moneyline perspective, the best value here is squarely on the host Stars.
I think there’s also some value here on the Over. That may sound funny, considering how Dallas’ game last night in Minnesota had an Over/Under of 5 (it ended up pushing) and how well the Stars have played in their own end lately. But it’s extremely rare to see a Vegas game with an Over/Under less than 6, and Dallas’ defensive numbers aren’t sustainable for much longer. Khudobin’s not Bishop, and if he plays, we’ve got a pretty good chance of seeing some goals tonight. Getting even money at Over 5.5 is hard to resist in this new era of higher-scoring NHL hockey.
I’m bucking the trend of recent low-scoring Stars games and backing the Over here. Dallas has been an extreme Under team this season, but their games at home have been a bit higher-scoring than their road outings in 2018-19. I’m picking the Vegas Golden Knights/Dallas Stars Over 5.5 at +100 odds.