NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Blues vs. Flames (Jan. 24)
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob Markstrom
- The Flames host the Blues on Monday night as short home favorites.
- The Blues have the momentum, but is there value fading them on the second night of a back-to-back?
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game and gives his best pick below.
Blues vs. Flames Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After sneaking by a depleted Canucks roster Sunday night, St. Louis will head to Calgary in the midst of a dominant 8-2-0 run to meet a Flames team that has lost four of five and continues to plummet down the standings.
Calgary is priced as a relatively long home favorite at -160. Is such a price warranted?
Blues Beating Metrics
St. Louis found a way by Vancouver on Sunday despite generating just 17 shots on goal and losing the expected goals battle 2.48 to 4.13. The Canucks were dreadful at converting in front of goal, while the Blues were again clinical at making the most of their chances, as well as being gifted a soft third tally to put it away against Canucks third stringer Michael Dipietro.
We can expect St. Louis to create a ton of chances that will not entirely reflect in the data and in turn be able to outscore the expected mark a lot of nights, but a 46.36% even strength expected goals rate since the beginning of January is certainly concerning.
A big area the Blues have seen favorable puck-luck recently has been how few chances are ending up in their own net, as they ran pretty good in that regard in big moments of recent 2-1 victories over the Stars, Kraken and Canucks.
I expect this team to control play at a slightly better rate moving forward with the full roster, and the Blues are clearly well above average at creating and finishing the types of plays that will consistently create goals. However, the Blues will likely still require a strong showing from Jordan Binnington in a game where Calgary should be at its urgent best and likely to control much of the play.
Binnington holds a -3.2 goals saved above expected mark and a .906 save %, and seems to be slowly losing the battle for the starter’s role to the red-hot Ville Husso.
Flames Better Than Recent Results
Suffering a 5-3 defeat in Edmonton after blowing a 2-0 lead surely didn’t sit well in the Flames locker room, but the performance still had a lot of positives. Outside of two seeing-eye power play goals from Evan Bouchard, and an unbelievable effort from Leon Draisaitl on the winner, the Flames were the better team altogether, and a 3.93 to 2.98 expected goals rate over the desperate Oilers reflected that.
The Flames have fallen into a major lull for a number of reasons, such as roster pauses during the ridiculously tough Florida-Tampa-Carolina trip. But this team is better than recent results, and that we will see them trend up and comfortably claim a playoff spot out of the lowly Pacific division.
The Flames still own a 50.83 xGF% altogether this month, and have clearly not been in top form.
There is still a lot to like about this roster, led by one of the better top lines in the league, and the Flames are able to play at a high level defensively when true to form with a strong top four and good coach in Darryl Sutter, along with an above-average netminder in Jacob Markstrom.
The higher expected goals against marks seen of late will lower moving forward, and their last time out on home ice against the Panthers saw the Flames put forth a big statement toward that possibility.
Blues vs. Flames Pick
This is a massive spot for the Flames to bounce back after a tough loss to Edmonton, one that really was a tough result considering the overall play at even strength.
The Flames’ previous effort in a thorough domination of the lethal Panthers was a big comment on the level this team can play at, and I think we are going to see Calgary able to find form closer to what we saw earlier in the year.
I think it’s easy to look at this price and question given recent results how the Flames are so favored, but I really think it’s likely we will see Calgary control a lot more of the play from this spot, and generate a good total off of a St. Louis posting some lower goals against totals than they have probably deserved of late.
I like a play on the Flames to win in regulation at -105 and would play that down to -115, as well as a half-unit play on Over 5.5 parlayed with the Flames moneyline at +168.
Pick: Calgary Flames Regulation Win -105 | Calgary Flames + Over 5.5 +168