Oilers vs. Flames NHL Odds & Pick: Back Calgary at Respectable Price (Saturday, Feb. 6)
Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mark Giordano.
- It's a little strange that the Oilers and Flames haven’t crossed paths yet, but these teams meet for the first time this season on Saturday night.
- The Oilers come into Saturday's matchup with a three-game winning streak that’s provided a much-needed improvement to their record.
- Matt Russell breaks down the game and shares his betting pick below.
Oilers vs. Flames Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday night and via DraftKings.|
Despite the 300-kilometer proximity between Edmonton and Calgary, the NHL schedule-makers took a casual approach to giving hockey fans the first Battle of Alberta of the shortened season. Though I think that means they play each other every second game the rest of the season.
Sure, this time of year it’s not like the Oilers are hopping on a bus to hit the snow-covered highway with a sign on the back that says “Saddledome or Bust,” but it is a little strange that these teams haven’t crossed paths yet. That said, the Oilers fly into Calgary for a quick scrum on Saturday night, to see how they measure up with their arch-rival.
The Oilers come into Saturday’s matchup with a three-game winning streak that’s provided a much-needed improvement to their record, even if it hasn’t done much to boost their rating in my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, as heard on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast.
The Oilers are still playing an offense-first brand of hockey thanks to their two stars, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, combining for 41% of their players’ total points. Of course, getting 10 and nine points, respectively, in their last three games will go along way to getting the Oilers those wins.
McDavid was the key to the first of those wins over Toronto last Saturday. The key to the other two wins? The opponent’s goaltending and horrific penalty kill.
We’ve discussed in this space before about how the Senators’ troubles in net are making a lot of teams look better than they are, and there was no greater example of that than watching the Oilers get soft goal after soft goal.
Edmonton scored 12 times on the duo of Matt Murray and Marcus Hogberg — four times on the power play and two from High-Danger Chances at even-strength. There’s six other goals in there that aren’t going to be so easy to come by against Calgary.
The Canadian North Division is bereft of good goaltending so far this season. Despite making up slightly less than a quarter of the NHL, only one Canadian franchise goaltender ranks in the top-12 in Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA). That’s Jacob Markstrom. He won’t likely be as generous to the Oilers as the Senators’ tandem.
The Flames have been a frustrating bet this season, with all of their games being lined inside of 60% win probability. They’ve gone 4-6 in these games, so have some positive regression headed their way before we even factor in my ratings, which have them 6.5% above average at even-strength. Simply put, they should have a better record than they’ve got.
Calgary’s playing well enough at 5-on-5, their power play isn’t lagging behind and their penalty kill is just fine. Add in quality goaltending, and what are the Flames missing?
Truthfully? A little luck.
A bounce here and there, and they’re 7-3 and hanging near the top of the division.
Oilers vs. Flames Best Bet
This is definitely not the first time I’ve said, “in taking the Flames, we’re getting the better team 5-on-5 and the better goaltender at a reasonable price”, and have it backfire when Calgary drops a game lined close to a coin flip. But here we are again.
My true moneyline for this game is CGY -120/EDM+120 so when it comes to value, you’re getting a fair price on a favorite, and I’m willing to try the Flames while we can still get them at a respectable price.
The Pick: Flames (-130 or better)