Stars vs Capitals Odds, Picks, and Predictions Tonight: Carlson Can't Buy a Point

The Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars are both looking to avoid losing three games in a row. Despite the similar losing streaks the Stars are the much better team — and our NHL picks are looking to fade a Capital defenseman for more value.

Dec 7, 2023 • 14:07 ET • 4 min read
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The Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals are both looking to kick two-game losing skids to the curb when they meet at Capital One Arena on Thursday, and Big D is a decent-sized road favorite in the NHL odds.

Dallas has uncharacteristically allowed nine goals during the noted losing streak, while the Capitals have been even more generous with 10 tallies surrendered across the past two losses.

There is a difference here, though.

The Stars have a capable defensive lineup jumping the boards, and Washington does not. It’s a primary reason why I turned my attention to the NHL player props for the hosts, and defenseman John Carlson particularly stood out. 

Here are my free NHL picks for the Stars vs. Capitals on Thursday, December 7.

Stars vs Capitals odds

Stars vs Capitals predictions

John Carlson has seen his offensive numbers in a clear decline dating back to last season, and he’s only marked the scoresheet in 11 of 22 games this year.

His 1.72 points per 60 minutes dating back to last season are a far cry from the 2.37 mark he posted across the prior three, and the Washington Capitals don’t pack the same offensive punch they did in years past, either.

I have the Caps pegged as the second-worst offensive team in my ratings.

Despite the Dallas Stars' recent struggles, they remain a top defensive team in the league. The Stars drive possession with a 10th-ranked 51.4 Corsi For percentage while allowing the seventh-fewest expected goals per 60 minutes (2.37) at 5-on-5. And, Dallas sits third in the league with a penalty kill operating at 87.7%.

The strong PK is particularly critical because 37.2% of Carlson’s points in the past two seasons have come with the man advantage.

While the Stars have dipped to No. 7 in my defense ratings with their recent slide, there’s a huge gap in the possession numbers with Washington sporting a 24th-ranked 46.9 CF%, which has also been dragged down by a 43.5 mark over the past 10 games. I expect Dallas to tidy up its game Thursday and limit Washington's quality chances.

My best bet: John Carlson Under 0.5 points (+105 at SIA)

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Stars vs Capitals same-game parlay

Stars moneyline

Matt Duchene anytime goalscorer

I’m anticipating Dallas returning to the win column Thursday. Washington is an inferior opponent, and the Caps represent a true downtick in class after the Stars recently faced the Tampa Bay Lightning twice and the Florida Panthers last time out.

Turning to the second leg of the same-game parlay, Matt Duchene is mired in a nine-game goal drought despite remaining dangerous throughout. He’s generated 3.14 expected goals while firing 17 shots, 36 attempts, and registering 10 individual high-danger scoring chances.

With the Capitals highlighted defensive shortcomings, I’m looking for Duchene to capitalize on Thursday.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Stars vs Capitals moneyline and Over/Under analysis

This moneyline has consistently moved in the Dallas direction since opening. SIA specifically moved Washington from +110 to +115 Thursday morning. There hasn’t been a notable movement to the total, which is at 6.0 at most shops.

I don’t expect to see a major move in the odds for either market leading into puck drop.

Stars vs Capitals betting trend to know

The Washington Capitals have lost 23 of their past 41 home games. Find more NHL betting trends for Stars vs. Capitals.

Stars vs Capitals game info

Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
Date: Thursday, December 7, 2023
Puck drop: 8:00 p.m. ET

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