Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers Game 6 Odds, Picks and Predictions (Friday, August 21)


Elsa, Getty Images. Pictured: Brendan Gallagher

  • The Philadelphia Flyers are -143 favorites to beat the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of their first-round series.
  • The Habs may be down 3-2 in this series, but they have been the better team at 5-on-5 for the most part. Both teams have struggled to score goals, as well.
  • Michael Leboff previews Canadiens vs. Flyers and makes a case for betting the Habs to win on Friday night:

Game 6: Canadiens vs. Flyers Odds

Flyers Odds -141 [BET NOW]
Canadiens Odds +123 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 5 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

If you love watching or betting on playoff hockey, you probably think the first-round series between the Flyers and Canadiens is a real hoot.

Things reached a boiling point during Wednesday’s Game 5 as Montreal’s Jesperi Kotkaniemi was given a game misconduct for boarding Travis Sanheim and then Philadelphia’s Matt Niskanen cross-checked Brendan Gallagher in the face, breaking his jaw. Gallagher is out for the rest of the series, Niskanen is suspended for Game 6. So it goes.

Subtracting Niskanen, a top-pair defenseman, from Philadelphia’s blue line stings and will test a defense that was already lacking depth, but Gallagher’s injury is the headliner here.

The Canadiens have had trouble finding the back of the net all season and have been shut-out twice in this series, so losing their best 5-on-5 scorer is a mini-disaster.

The good news is that the Canadiens have played a characteristically strong 5-on-5 game in this series. The Habs have a 58.4% expected goals rate and have created 21 more high-danger scoring chances through the first five games, so the ice has been tilted towards the Flyers’ net at even strength.

Plenty has been made of Montreal’s scoring woes — and it is a legitimate concern — but Philadelphia hasn’t been much better. The Flyers have scored just four goals at 5-on-5 in this series and they held a 3-1 series lead despite scoring just five total goals through the first four contests.

Philadelphia Flyers Montreal Canadiens
Goals 4 5
Expected Goals 6.4 8.99
Shot Attempts 197 248
High-danger scoring chances 27 48

Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.

Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.

xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.

The Flyers went 3-0 in the round robin and were the hottest team before the hiatus, so the market was a bit high on them ahead of Game 1 against the Habs, who finished 24th overall during the regular season and were the last team admitted into these Dystopian Playoffs.

Even though Philadelphia won Game 1, the Flyers hype calmed down a bit and the price on Philadelphia has come down quite a ways from where we started. Some of that was just the market correcting on the Flyers, but Montreal’s 5-on-5 play also has something to do with it.

Philadelphia Flyers Montreal Canadiens
Game 1 -162 +138
Game 2 -148 +126
Game 3 -148 +128
Game 4 -127 +110
Game 5 -137 +118
Game 6 -141 +123

Odds via DraftKings. Check out our live NHL odds page to get the best line on every game.

The listed odds imply that Montreal wins this game 43.4% of the time and I think that’s a little low, even without Gallagher.

Finding the back of the net will be a challenge for the Habs, but the same can be said of Philadelphia.

Montreal has the better 5-on-5 numbers in this series and was one of the best teams at even strength throughout the season, so I’ll gladly back the Habs at anything better than +120.

[Bet the Montreal Canadiens at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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