Canadiens vs. Flyers Game 2 Odds & Pick (Friday, August 14): Sell High on the Undefeated Flyers
Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Suzuki.
- Check out our betting preview for Friday's NHL Playoffs matchup between the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers.
- Despite losing in Game 1, Montreal largely controlled the run of play, but the Flyers' well-roundedness earned Philadelphia the win.
- Michael Leboff believes these teams are closer than the current odds suggest. Read on to discover why he's still backing the Canadiens as underdogs in Game 2.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers Odds
|Canadiens Odds||+138 [BET NOW]|
|Flyers Odds||-159 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5 (-141/ [BET NOW]|
|Time||3 p.m. ET|
A loss like the one the Montreal Canadiens suffered on Wednesday night can be frustrating. The Habs closed at +138 and were the better team but came up short. An unlucky loss like that can embitter bettors. Or it can embolden them.
If you’ve been betting the Habs this season, you’re probably familiar with this script. Montreal generated more expected goals (2.56 to 1.89), created more high-danger scoring chances (13 to 8) and recorded more shot attempts (56 to 45) at 5-on-5, meaning they controlled the run of play. In football terms, you’d say that Montreal won the field-position battle.
The Canadiens made a habit of this during the regular season, driving play but nonetheless losing games. They finished third in the NHL with a 54.1% expected goals rate, but the Habs ranked 13th with a 50.8% goal share.
When Montreal landed in the loss column, it was often due to middling goaltending or poor finishing. It was more of the latter on Wednesday, as Carey Price was solid in goal in Game 1.
Montreal needed Price to stand on his head to beat the Penguins, because Pittsburgh dominated on the shot clock. But, that shouldn’t be the case against Philadelphia, because Montreal posted better possession numbers than the Flyers over the regular season.
That isn’t to say that the Canadiens are the better team in this matchup. The Flyers may not blow you away with talent, but they don’t have any glaring weaknesses either. The Flyers can score, they defend well and their goalie is in good form at the moment. Philadelphia deserves to be favored against the Habs, even if Montreal is better than it appears on the surface.
If you go spot-by-spot, the Flyers have a slight advantage at almost every position. But overall, these two teams are closer than the odds suggest. I’m hopeful that the value on Montreal will increase, since Philadelphia has yet to drop a game in the bubble.
The Flyers’ Game 1 win was less than convincing, but there’s a good chance that the majority of bettors don’t go much further than the final score. Many are happy to take the undefeated Flyers against the lowest seed in the tournament.
Simply put, I think the Canadiens are underrated and the Flyers are overrated. The listed odds for Game 2 (-159/+138) imply that Philadelphia wins this game 59.4% of the time. I’m going to continue selling high on the Flyers and would bet Montreal at +135 or better. And if you’re feeling perky, I don’t hate the idea of backing the Habs at +340 to win the series.
The Pick: Canadiens (+135 or better)