Kraken vs. Flyers Odds, Pick & Betting Preview: Should Seattle Be This Big an Underdog?
Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images. Morgan Geekie
Kraken vs. Flyers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
They may not have come into the league with as much punch as the Vegas Golden Knights, but the expansion Seattle Kraken are holding their own on their season-opening road trip.
The more rested Philadelphia Flyers salvaged a point from their season opener, but got an uneven game from starter Carter Hart, who will take the net again on Monday.
With the Flyers' new defensive addition Rasmus Ristolainen still sidelined due to injury, look for former Flyers coach Dave Hakstol and his Kraken to swim out of Wells Fargo Center with two points on Monday night.
Kraken Are Worth Competition Through Three Games
The NHL's latest newcomers are 1-1-1 through their first three games — a 4-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators and a 2-1 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Monday's matchup is the front half of a back-to-back for the Kraken. They'll close out their five-game road trip in New Jersey on Tuesday, then head back to Seattle to prepare for their home opener next Saturday.
The Kraken have been worthy competition so far — very much in all of their games, with middle-of-the-pack possession numbers, despite averaging a low 25.7 shots per game. There hasn't been much special-teams time in its games, but Seattle has clicked on 2-of-6 power-play chances while killing 4-of-5 penalties against.
Coming into the season with a career high of 14 goals, forward Brandon Tanev is well on his way to becoming the next Wild Bill Karlsson, with three goals in his first three games for the Kraken. As expected, the big three of Adam Larsson, Mark Giordano and Jamie Oleksiak are eating up massive minutes on defense. Vince Dunn missed Saturday's game in Columbus after suffering an injury against Nashville.
In net, Philipp Grubauer has carried the load through Seattle's first three games. He should split the upcoming back-to-back with Chris Driedger, but whichever netminder gets the nod against the Flyers, the Kraken's defense should be solid.
Rested Flyers Looking To Build Chemistry
The Flyers have played just one game to date — a 5-4 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks last Friday. It was an entertaining affair which had the faithful at Wells Fargo Center in full voice — cheering the two late goals that forced overtime; booing after Carter Hart got torched for four goals on 13 Vancouver shots in the second period.
Hart is confirmed as the starter on Monday, but it remains to be seen whether the 23-year-old has shaken off his demons from last season, or if the Flyers' new-look blue line can deliver improved defensive results.
Ryan Ellis and Keith Yandle both had two-point nights against Vancouver. And Rasmus Ristolainen practiced with the Flyers on Sunday after missing Friday's season opener with an upper-body injury, but coach Alain Vigneault said he's not expecting the big Finn to be ready to play on Monday. Expect Nick Seeler to draw in for his second game of the year.
Another new addition, Cam Atkinson, provided a tenacious spark up front. He scored his first goal for his new team and generated a glorious two-on-one opportunity on the penalty kill. The Flyers struggled while down a man last season and Game 1 was no better, as they killed off just 2-of-4 shorthanded situations.
Kraken vs. Flyers Pick
The Kraken are playing their fourth game in seven nights, with nearly 4,000 travel miles already logged since the beginning of the regular season. The Flyers are playing just their second game, and haven't left home since finishing out the preseason 140 miles away in Washington 10 days ago.
Nevertheless, I like the underdog pick here. The Kraken have had one day of rest, and after playing some low-event teams, they should find more room to skate against the Flyers. And while Carter Hart was good at times against the Canucks, he also had shaky moments. A few more of those on Monday, and the Kraken could pick up their second regulation win and ensure that'll they'll head back to Seattle with, at minimum, a .500 record.
At +138 on the moneyline, FanDuel's projecting a 42% chance of victory for Seattle. That's worth a wager, until the Flyers prove that they've put their defensive issues from last season behind them.
Pick: Seattle Kraken +138 (play to +120)