Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:50 PM EST
8:05 PM EST. OT included. Give Minnesota a lot of credit for playing their hearts out after they traded away some nice assets just before the deadline this year. Minnesota is fighting (a losing) battle to make the playoffs and that’s because they’re so beatable. The Wild are 7-7-5 since they lost on February 1 and that stretch includes a five-game winning streak in late February. 19 points in 19 games doesn’t move a team up in the standings. There isn’t a way to overemphasize the importance of this game to the Wild. This is the second of a five-game homestand. A loss to the Stars gives them an 0-2-0 start to this vital stretch, and nothing will get easier. 11 of Minnesota’s final 12 games are against teams currently with a playoff spot in hand. The Wild last played on Monday night, so expect a well-rested rival that knows that their season is on the line. Aside from trading key pieces, Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund, Matt Dumba and Mikko Koivu are still out.
Over their last 10 games, the Stars are 7-3-0, and during that time, they have been the first to score in seven games. These two teams rank right next to each other in the defensive analytics with Minnesota having a slight edge in possession time. However, the biggest deciding factor in outcomes is goaltending and right now, Ben Bishop is the hottest goaltender in the league. Bishop has allowed a mere three goals against in his last five starts and when a goalie is that confident, he’s hard to beat. If we take out the goaltenders and call this game even, when we insert the goaltenders, it’s not even at all and thus, we’ll gladly ride the hot hand of Ben Bishop.
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Dallas +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)