Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars Odds - Free Pick 1/23/2016
The Colorado Avalanche will try and continue to pick-up some ground on the Dallas Stars in the Central Division when these two rivals clash this Saturday night at the American Airlines Center. The puck is set to drop at 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be available on NHL Center Ice.
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The Avalanche will play host to St. Louis on Friday night before making the trip to Dallas and while they have won five of their last six games at home, they have also been hot on the road with five wins in their last seven road games. They have won their last two outings against Winnipeg on the road as +117 underdogs and Buffalo at home as -138 favorites by an identical 2-1 score to keep the total UNDER in their last five games.
Colorado remains one of the top scoring teams in the NHL with an average of 2.8 goals a game, but it has had its issues on the other end of the ice with a defense that is allowing 2.7 goals per game. Center Matt Duchene leads the team in both goals (22) and total points (38), but he has been held to just one goal in his last five games. Semyon Varlamov has gotten the majority of the starts in goal and while his goals-against average is 2.7 on the year, he has allowed just two goals on 65 shots in his last two games.
The Stars are still in solid shape in the Central Division with 65 points on a record of 30-13-5, but they are in the midst of an extended rough patch with just three victories in their last nine games. Dallas is coming off a much needed 3-2 win over Edmonton this past Thursday as a heavy 234 home favorite and it is now 18-5 at home this season. The total stayed UNDER the 5.5-point line in that game and it has stayed UNDER in four of its last six games.
Dallas has the second-best scoring average in the NHL (3.3 goals per game) and left winger Jamie Benn has the second-most points in the NHL this season with 57, including 27 goals. He has stayed hot in the Stars' last five games with three goals and two assists including a key goal against the Oilers, but the end result is just one win in that same span. Defensively, the Stars are allowing 2.6 goals a game with Antti Niemi (2.45 GAA) and Kari Lehtonen (2.82 GAA) splitting time in goal. The two have rotated games since the first of the year so look for Lehtonen to possibly get the start on Saturday.
The Avalanche are 14-4 in their last 18 division games and they have won seven of their last nine games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed UNDER in eight of their last 10 road games.
The Stars are 8-3 in their last 11 Central Division games and they are 5-1 in their last six home games against a team with a winning record on the road. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last six home games.
Head-to-head in this division tilt, the home team is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings and the total has gone OVER in five of the last seven games.
Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars Prediction
Both of these teams know how to light the lamp, but given the current form of each, I see Saturday's matchup as a golden opportunity to go with the UNDER on an expected total line of 5.5 as my "best bet" pick.