Bruins vs. Flyers Betting Odds & Picks: Boston Inspires More Confidence (Feb. 3)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: David Pastrnak.
- Boston has won six straight and takes on Phildelphia, winner of four straight games.
- The Bruins are off to a stellar start to the season, while the Flyers might be fortunate to have such a good record.
- Pete Truszkowski breaks down why he's backing the B's to stay hot in this East Division matchup.
Bruins vs. Flyers Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday night and via DraftKings.|
The Boston Bruins have points in six straight games. The Philadelphia Flyers have won four straight games. With both teams red hot, something has to give on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
After starting the season 1-1-1, Boston is 5-0-1 in its last six games. Despite a slow start, it’s clear this Bruins team is amongst the league’s best.
After winning the Presidents’ Trophy last season, there were question marks about whether the Bruins were past their peak. They lost two key defensemen in free agency, and there was concern about an aging core that didn’t impress much in the bubble.
However, Boston has silenced those questions to begin this season. It is the best team in the NHL per expected goals (xG), getting 57.55% of the expected goals at 5-on-5. They’re also top-10 in terms of High-Danger Chances, scoring chances and shot attempts.
The bread and butter of this Bruins team over the past decade has been their defense. This year is no different, as Boston leads the league in terms of xG/against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. It’s no surprise to see the Bruins in second place in the league in terms of goals against, conceding just 2.22 goals per game.
Offensively, the Bruins are middle of the road in both expected goals scored and actual goals scored. The Bruins have never been an offensive juggernaut but with their defense, they score enough to win.
Boston’s offensive production should increase with star forward David Pastrnak recently returning from injury. Pastrnak tied for the league lead in goals last season with Alex Ovechkin. In his first two games of this season, he’s already found the net twice.
The Flyers entered the season as a trendy pick by many to make some noise this season. They finished last year’s regular season as the hottest team in the league and had a nice run in the bubble. With most of their team returning and a young budding goaltender, hopes were high for Philly.
When looking at their record, you might think they’ve met those expectations and possibly even exceeded them. Their 7-2-1 start looks dazzling in the standings, which is what matters at the end of the day.
However, if you look under the hood, there’s cause for concern with the Flyers.
Philadelphia has the fourth-worst expected-goal rate in the league at just 45.1%. They’re also the worst team in the league when it comes to shot-attempt rate at just 44.07%. Their High-Danger Chance rate is also in the bottom 10.
The Flyers are outside of the top 10 in power-play efficiency and in the bottom 10 in terms of penalty killing. Their team save percentage at even strength is middle of the pack.
So with a poor analytical profile, average special teams and average goaltending, Philadelphia is bucking the trend to begin the season. Regression is likely to come from its offense.
The Flyers have the second highest shooting percentage in the league at 5-on-5. They also are scoring 2.84 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, which is more than a full goal higher than their expected goals scored (1.81).
It’s not that Philadelphia is a bad team. They have the talent to outperform their metrics with players like Travis Konecny, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. However, they have not played nearly as well as a 7-2-1 start would indicate.
Bruins vs. Flyers Best Bet
Every NHL season, there’s a handful of teams that either outperform or underperform their analytical profiles in inexplicable ways. You’ll fade them (or bet on them to regress positively) until you throw your hands in the air and put them on your betting blacklist.
I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few weeks, the Flyers are on my betting blacklist for continuing to outperform their metrics. Until then, I’m ready to get hurt again.
I think Boston is a much better team defensively and in terms of controlling the play. The Flyers struggle to generate much offensively at 5-on-5 and the Bruins are the best team in the league in terms of shutting teams down.
At the current price, I think Boston is worthy of a bet. However, if this line moves too much, I’d be weary of laying too much juice against a home team that has begun the season by defying the numbers.
Pick: Boston -129 (up to -130)