This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Playoffs Picks for May 11: Expert NHL Picks and Props for Kraken vs. Stars
The Seattle Kraken and the Dallas Stars play a pivotal Game 5 in their Western Conference Semifinals series at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
The Kraken buried the Stars by a 7-2 count in Game 3 at Climate Pledge Arena, taking a 2-1 series lead, while snaking home-ice advantage in the process. However, Dallas responded with a dominant 6-3 effort in Game 4, seizing home-ice advantage right back.
These teams met in the Metroplex for Game 1, with Seattle taking a 5-4 decision in overtime. In Game 2, the Stars doubled up the Kraken by a 4-2 count. If you had the Over cashing in all four games to date, good for you.
Dallas has scored 16 goals in the first four games of this series, and Joe Pavelski is good for six of those goals. He lit the lamp four times in the Game 1 OT loss, and a goal in both Games 2 and 4. Max Domi came alive with two goals and an assist in Game 4, while Jamie Benn also had a goal and an assist.
Jake Oettinger hasn't been great in the crease, and kicked aside just 16 of the 19 shots he faced in Game 4, but that was enough to best Philipp Grubauer. After looking sharp in the first three games, Grubauer was pounded for five goals on just 22 shots, and he was pulled in favor of Martin Jones. The latter stopped the only two shots he faced in the third period. It's unlikely Jones gets the nod to start by head coach Dave Hakstol over Grubauer, although the leash could be short again if things go south.
The Kraken are back where they're most comfortable - on the road. They're 13-5 in the past 18 games on the road, and during the regular season Seattle was 26-11-4 on the road, while going just 20-17-4 at home. So losing home-ice advantage isn't as big of a problem as most might think.
The Stars have won seven of the past nine games at home, however, while going 16-5 in the past 21 games when playing on a day of rest.
I don't really like Dallas laying -190 to -200 at most shops, as risking nearly two times your potential return just doesn't represent much in the way of value. Conversely, I don't like Seattle straight up. However, taking the Kraken on the puck line as an underdog isn't priced out of line, and that's the way to go, especially in what should be a tight game.
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NHL Money Line Bets for Kraken vs. Stars
- Kraken PL (+1.5, -154 at FanDuel)
Like the New Jersey-Carolina series, we've had four games and four Over results in this series. Whatever happened to strong defense and goaltending in the playoffs?
The Under is 6-2 in the past eight games on the road for the Kraken, however, while the Under is a perfect 4-0 in the past four games following a loss of three or more goals.
The Stars have cashed the Over at a 4-0-1 clip in the past five games, but the Under is 7-3-1 in the past 11 games on home ice.
We've seen plenty of fireworks in this series, with a combined average of 8.3 goals per game. In an all-important Game 5, with both teams looking to avoid being pushed to the brink, I expect the defense and goaltending to step up big time. Go Under in Game 5, as we're due for a lower-scoring affair.
NHL Totals Bets for Kraken vs. Stars
- Under 6 (-110 at Caesars)
NHL Player Props for Kraken vs. Stars
Looking to the NHL player props for this hugely important Game 5, we have some solid offensive options.
Center Wyatt Johnston was good for 24 goals and 41 points during the regular season. He lit the lamp in Game 2 on home ice, and he chipped in with an assist. He has two goals in the past five games, and I expect he'll be able to get back onto the scoresheet in some fashion in Game 5. He is a value play at plus-money to notch just a single point, whether it be a goal or an assist.
- Wyatt Johnston Over 0.5 Points (+115 at BetMGM)
As far as the Kraken are concerned, 40-goal scorer Jared McCann returned to the lineup in Game 4 after exiitng the Colorado series early in Game 4 due to an undisclosed injury. He was a bit rusty against the Stars in his return, going scoreless with a minus-1 rating on home ice. His struggles in that one make him a good value here. Now that he has his sea legs back, I think he is a fair bet to get on the board with a goal. At plus-money as a 40-goal scorer, he is a tremendous value play.
- Jared McCann Anytime Goal Scorer (+170 at BetMGM)