NHL Betting Picks and Odds (Friday, March 6): Coyotes vs. Flames, Golden Knights vs. Jets and More
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Taylor Hall
- As the NHL season winds down, the Western Conference postseason picture is starting to take shape and its creating some value in the betting market.
- Michael Leboff previews Friday's slate, including Coyotes vs. Flames and Golden Knights vs. Jets.
- Check out his betting preview and picks below.
The Western Conference playoff race remains bonkers. I know there’s a faction of hockey people who want to see the regular season shortened, there’s certainly an argument that a six-month marathon followed by a two-month fight to the death is a bit much, but with the parity the NHL sports, it’s kind of hard to tell when the regular season ends and the playoffs begin.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture:
- *Calgary Flames: 77 points, 14 games remaining
- *Minnesota Wild: 75 points, 15 games remaining
- *Vancouver Canucks: 74 points, 16 games remaining
- Nashville Predators: 74 points, 15 games remaining
- Winnipeg Jets: 74 points, 14 games remaining
- Arizona Coyotes: 74 points, 14 games remaining
- Chicago Blackhawks: 70 points, 15 games remaining
Five of the seven teams listed above are playing on Friday night, including the Coyotes and Flames, who will do battle in Calgary.
Arizona Coyotes at Calgary Flames
Coyotes odds: +125
Flames odds: -145
Time: 9 p.m. ET
It’s been a pretty mediocre season for the Arizona Coyotes thus far. Arizona ranks 19th in expected goals rate (49.5%), 18th in goal share (50.2%) and 22nd in points percentage (54.4%). Nobody would have confused the Yotes with a legitimate contender in the preseason, but they’ve underwhelmed relative to their modestly-high expectations — especially after they acquired Taylor Hall in November.
The good news is that Arizona has had some jump in its game recently. The Coyotes have a 51.2% expected goals rate over their last 15 games and that number has increased to 52.1% in their last five games. Those numbers aren’t that exciting, but now is as good a time as any to start trending in the right direction.
The Calgary Flames are also trending in the right direction. The Flames were a force through the regular season in 2018-19, but a lot of their offensive oomph disappeared through the first 50 games in ’19-20.
Calgary has found its offensive mojo. Since the beginning of February, no team is creating more expected goals for at 5-on-5 than the Flames and only one team — the Flyers — is scoring more 5-on-5 goals than Calgary in that span.