NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Avalanche vs. Flyers (December 5)
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Owen Tippett of the Philadelphia Flyers
- The defending Cup champion Colorado Avalanche wrap up a four-game road trip with Monday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
- Although the Avs have struggled a bit recently, the Flyers have also cooled after a hot start.
- Below, Grant White breaks down the game and explains why he's backing the moneyline underdog tonight.
Avalanche vs. Flyers Odds
|6 (-106 / -104)
|7 p.m. ET
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.
The Colorado Avalanche conclude a four-game road trip with a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night while looking to salvage their second win.
They'll have to contend with a Philadelphia Flyers squad that has vastly underachieved to start the season, winning just one of their last 13 games.
The betting odds favor the Avs in this one, but the advanced metrics suggest that the Flyers have a puncher's chance in this inter-conference battle.
Continued Cup Hangover for Colorado Avalanche
Colorado is proving that the Stanley Cup hangover is a real phenomenon. The Avs have not maintained their lofty standards from last season and are sitting five games above .500 past the quarter mark of the season.
Although that would be an ideal position for most teams, it's evident that Nathan MacKinnon and co. are adjusting to the offseason roster adjustments, and their metrics are worse because of it.
The Avalanche finished the 2021-22 campaign with a 52.0% expected goals-for percentage and 1.014 PDO. This year they are much worse, watching their expected goals-for rating plummet to 48.7%, with their PDO still hovering above average at 1.007.
Colorado has enough skilled players to offset some of its analytic deficiencies, as reflected in its actual goals-for rating of 52.1%. Still, Avs are at risk of further correction over their coming games.
Those worrisome metrics are amplified on the road. Colorado's expected goals-for drops to 48.1%, with their actual rating even further behind at 47.6%. Moreover, their recent efforts have been fruitless as they've been dominated on the road over their past couple of outings. The Avs have posted a 41.4% Corsi rating across their previous two games, getting out-chanced 48-37 in scoring chances and 26-14 in high-danger opportunities. Consequently, their expected goals-for rating has taken a hit, falling to 41.0%.
Inconsistency has plagued the Avalanche this season. They continue to outplay their metrics, but as we've seen more recently, they don't have the same enthusiasm on the road as we've seen from them as the hosts.
Philadelphia Flyers Step up Defense
The Flyers' season started on the right foot, with the Metropolitan Division basement dwellers winning seven of their first 12 games. Since then, they've got just one win to show for their efforts, though they have strong underlying metrics.
The Flyers should eventually start to be rewarded for their above-average performances, and their best chance at winning comes on home ice, where they could line match to their advantage. Further, their metrics have fallen below normal ranges, and they should start to progress back toward average over their coming games.
More recently, defense has been a priority for the Flyers. Philadelphia has limited its opponents to eight or fewer high-danger chances in four of its last seven and 24 or fewer scoring opportunities in all but two of those outings.
However, the improved defensive play has come at the expense of offensive production. The Flyers are averaging 6.4 high-danger chances over the seven-game sample, below their season average of 7.7. That's negatively impacted output, with the team's shooting percentage dropping to 6.4%. The Flyers' production metrics aren't where we expect them to be, and we are anticipating more robust efforts from them soon.
Even though the Flyers' offensive stats have faltered, their analytics have been buoyed by their suffocating defense. Philadelphia has outplayed its opponents in three of its past four, posting expected goals-for ratings above 62.0% twice. Those performances will eventually start to pay off, and the Flyers should start to see more wins because of it.
Avalanche vs. Flyers Pick
The Avs face a step down in quality against the Flyers. Still, they have some concerning metrics on this road trip. More importantly, they can't continue to get outplayed and win games.
Conversely, the Flyers have tilted the ice in their favor over their last few games and are better than their record implies.
The safe play would be taking the Flyers on the puck line, but we're rolling the dice with them to win outright. As of this writing, we can get a price of +180, and I'm comfortable taking it down to +160.
Pick: Philadelphia Flyers +180