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Dallas vs. New York NHL Betting Odds & Pick from Will Rogers: December 13th 2017

Dallas Stars vs. New York Islanders
NHL Betting Pick: NYI -111 odds (December 13th 2017)

The set-up: The New York Islanders snapped their season-high three-game losing streak with a 3-1 home win over the Washington Capitals on Monday. The 17-10-3 Islanders are battling for first-place in the top-heavy Metropolitan Division with 37 points (Blue Jackets and the Caps have 39 points and the Devils, 38). All this, despite playing only 12 of their first 30 games at home. New York will remain home in Barclays Center for tonight’s game with the visiting Dallas Stars on Wednesday, who check in at 17-13-1. The Stars had also dropped three in a row before opening their four-game road trip through the Metropolitan Division with a 2-1 shootout win at the New York Rangers, also on Monday.

Dallas: Captain Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov formed a potent top line to open the season but head coach Ken Hitchcock decided to put his top three scorers on separate lines against the Rangers. Dallas responded with 45 shots on goal to end the three-game slide, with Benn, Seguin and Radulov combining for 17 of those shots. “We are starting to really play strong 5-on-5 hockey right now,” Hitchcock said. “We are getting a lot of scoring chances and we’re not giving up a lot, which is a really good sign.” Kari Lehtonen notched the 299th win of his career by recording 24 saves against the Rangers and tied Miikka Kiprusoff for the most games played by a Finnish-born goaltender (623). Lehtonen opened the season as the backup to Ben Bishop, though the two have alternated starts over the last six games. Not sure which one plays, tonight.

NY Islanders: New York had allowed the opening goal in five straight games (losing four), before scoring first against Washington to improve to 11-0-0 when netting the initial goal. “The great thing is we always have the belief, whether it’s 2-0, 3-1, 3-2, we can come back with any amount of time left,” head coach Doug Weight said. “But the last three weeks it’s a little disheartening, it’s 1-0 more than not against us. For a team like ours, it’s big to get the lead.” Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss opened the season in a 50/50 timeshare for the Islanders but Halak (31 saves Monday night) has started three straight games and seven of the last eight overall. New York is 4-2-1 under Halak in that span.

The pick: Dallas hammered the visiting Islanders 5-0 back on Nov. 10 but the Stars have been outscored 23-13 in dropping their last four trips to New York. No reason for that to change here, as the Islanders have lost just once in regulation at Barclays Center this season (9-1-2), outscoring opponents 4.50-to-3.00 GPG. Play the Isles.

Western Kentucky vs. Wisconsin Basketball Spread Pick from Teddy Covers: December 13th 2017

Western Kentucky vs. Wisconsin
Basketball Point Spread Pick: WKY +6.5 points (December 13th 2017)

Make no mistake about it – Wisconsin is a train wreck right now, and the Hilltoppers are talented enough to go into Madison and give the Badgers all kinds of problems.  Wisconsin has two wins in their last nine games, one of which came by a single point; not an easy team to lay points with right now.  And let’s not forget that the Badgers have lost at home three times already, all by double digit margins.

Greg Gard’s team isn’t playing traditional Wisconsin defense, allowing 46% shooting for the season.  They are extraordinarily young; in complete rebuild mode.  Four of Gard’s eight regular rotation players are true freshmen, two more are sophomores.  And to make matters even worse for a young team lacking confidence, the injury bug has started to hit.

Emerging wing Kobe King had knee surgery on Monday while point guard D’Mitrik Trice is out as well.  That means playing time for the like of TJ Schlundt, a former walk-on.  Schlundt’s quote: “Defensive technique is the biggest thing. I think I have the ability to do it, it’s just a mind-set and that’s something that I’ve got to get better at for sure.”

Badgers assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft knows what his team is up against tonight. “Really good (Hilltoppers) team. Ask Purdue. And I have all the respect in the world for Purdue, we all do. (Western Kentucky) took it to them.”

Western Kentucky has a trio of senior starters, including transfers from Virginia, Kansas and Ole Miss.  They hung tough with Villanova (+22, lost by 8), beat Purdue outright as a 19 point dog and followed that up with a win over SMU as +10 underdogs.  Expect a battle to the wire tonight!  Take Western Kentucky.

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