This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Expert Picks for March 23: Free NHL Bets and Player Props for Penguins vs. Stars
The Pittsburgh Penguins (35-26-10) continue its quick two-game Western Conference road swing against the Dallas Stars (38-19-14) at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, with the puck drop scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Penguins picked up a much, much-needed victory against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Wednesday evening, cooling off the defending champs by a 5-2 count.
Sidney Crosby lit the lamp to open the scoring early in the second period, while Jake Guentzel posted a power-play goal to make it 2-0. The Pens never relinquished the lead, as Tristan Jarry backstopped the team to a win with 28 saves on 30 total shots.
Jeff Carter also scored a power-play goal and an even-strength goal, and Bryan Rust added an empty-net goal. Guentzel and Rust ended up with two points apiece, as the offense finally awakened from its slumber. Pittsburgh entered with three goal goals in the previous three contests.
The Stars were upended 5-4 in overtime by the visiting Seattle Kraken, following up an impressive 6-5 OT win in Calgary on Saturday night. Win or lose for Dallas lately, it's certainly been exciting. And it's been high-scoring, too, with Dallas netting at least four goals in 10 of the past 12 outings.
Despite Tuesday's win, the Penguins are still just 6-13 in the past 19 games on the road, while going 1-4 in the past five games overall. They're also 4-10 in the past 14 games when working on no rest.
Speaking of which, the Pens arrived into Dallas Love Field on the team's charter at approximately 1 a.m. CT, so they didn't get into town until super late. It's a tough turnaround, and backup Casey DeSmith (13-14-4, 3.12 GAA, .907 SV%) is expected to be in the crease with the back-to-back situation. That's not a favorable situation for the visitors.
Back the home side as moderate favorites.
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NHL Money Line Bets for Penguins vs. Stars
- Stars ML (-150 at BetMGM)
For the Penguins, it had been about the Under lately. The Penguins had netted three total goals in the three previous games before Tuesday's re-discovery of the offense. In fact, the Under was 5-1 in the six games prior to arriving in Denver.
The Under is still 5-2 in the past seven road games for Pittsburgh. However, the Over is 12-3-1 in the past 16 games after allowing two or fewer goals in the previous outing.
For the Stars, the Over has been a frequent occurrence. The Over is 10-1-1 in the past 12 games overall, while going 5-0-1 in the past six home games. The Over is 6-1-1 in the past eight games when working on a day of rest, too.
With the Pens working on a quick turnaround, with a backup goaltender and likely some tired legs on defense, look for the Stars to continue their high-scoring ways.
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NHL Totals Bets for Penguins vs. Stars
- Over 6.5 (+102 at BetRivers)
NHL Player Props for Penguins vs. Stars
As far as player props are concerns, take a look at favorable options from each of the teams.
For the visitors, if they're going to score against the likes of Jake Oettinger, it's likely going to take a power-play goal from Guentzel. He notched a goal on the man advantage in Denver, and he is a value play at plus-money to notch at least a goal or an assist on the power play in Dallas.
- Jake Guentzel Over 0.5 Power-Play Points (+145 at BetMGM)
Wyatt Johnson has notched a goal in five consecutive games, while totaling six points during the impressive span. He has racked up seven goals and 10 points in 11 games in the month of March, too. The prop for Johnson to get a single point is rather affordable, so roll with that.
- Wyatt Johnson Over 0.5 Points (-110 at BetMGM)