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Canucks vs Flames Odds, Pick: NHL Preview & Prediction (Thursday, November 16)

Canucks vs Flames Odds, Pick: NHL Preview & Prediction (Thursday, November 16) article feature image

David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Calgary Flames logo on jersey

Canucks vs. Flames Odds

Thursday, Nov. 16
9 p.m. ET
Canucks Odds+125
Flames Odds-150
Over / Under
-115 / -105
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

All of Western Canada will be tuned into this one as two Pacific Division rivals trade blows at the Saddledome on Thursday night with the Canucks vs. Flames.

The Vancouver Canucks have already established themselves as a Western Conference powerhouse, going 12-3-1 to open the season.

Conversely, the Calgary Flames stumbled out of the gates but have seemingly turned a corner over their recent sample.

However, the Canucks aren't just competing against the Flames on tonight. No, they're also fending off regression and a challenging schedule ahead of this intra-divisional battle.

The betting price suggests that this one should be close, but we think Calgary runs away with it.

Here's our Canucks vs. Flames prediction and betting pick.

Vancouver Canucks

Down 3-1 at the halfway point of Wednesday night's game against the New York Islanders, the Canucks mounted a third-period comeback before winning in overtime.

That performance is analogous to their season as a whole as the Nucks continue to find ways to win games in unsustainable ways. Eventually, these metrics will balance out, and wins will then start drying up for Vancouver.

The Canucks have outscored opponents 39-21 at 5-on-5, resulting in a league-best 65.0% actual goals-for rating. That success has resulted in an unsustainable 1.056 PDO.

Vancouver's shooting percentage has ratcheted up to 11.5%, third-best in the NHL, while its save percentage is also teetering at an untenable 94.1%. Regression is plausible in either aspect, but we suspect goaltending will be the first duck to fall.

As good as the Canucks have been offensively, they aren't coming back to play defense in their own end. Vancouver has given up the fourth-most high-danger chances and 10th-most scoring opportunities.

Moreover, their metrics are eroding over the Canucks' recent sample.

Five of their last eight opponents have attempted at least 12 high-danger chances with four of those squads eclipsing 27 scoring opportunities. That's putting an immense amount of pressure on Canucks goaltenders. Although they've responded well thus far, there is a dam that is about to burst, and the floodgates will open.

Ultimately, Vancouver's 65.0% actual goals-for rating is a long way from its expected value of 48.1%, implying the Canucks will inevitably enter a correction phase over the coming weeks.

Calgary Flames

The same is true for the Flames, albeit their correction is progressing them back up toward the mean.

Calgary has vastly underperformed during its early schedule, winning just five contests despite outplaying opponents in 10 of 15 outings.

That in and of itself is enough to support Calgary over its coming schedule, particularly as short home favorites. But there's more to substantiate the team's undervalued position in the betting market.

First, the Flames are asserting themselves on both ends of the ice. The former Atlanta residents rank in the top half of the league in high-danger scoring opportunities for and against, also sitting in the upper half in scoring chances against.

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Further, Calgary is a possession-driven team ranking ninth in Corsi rating at 5-on-5 and eighth in shots-for rating.

Like most teams, the Flames are doing their best work at home. This allows them to line match and deploy their top lines under ideal circumstances.

We're seeing that play out in Calgary's home splits.

The Flames are averaging 11.5 quality opportunities over their last four home games, hitting double digits in all but one of those contests. Moreover, they haven't fallen below a 54.4% Corsi rating in any of those outings.

That's particularly noteworthy as the Flames play eight of their next 12 in their friendly confines.

Canucks vs. Flames

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Flames have analytics propping up a reversal of fortunes over their coming games.

The opposite is true for the Canucks, who have outlasted their metrics to start the season.

Starting Thatcher Demko in Wednesday night's overtime win could be their undoing as the Canucks compete on the second night of a back-to-back with a backup netminder projected to start.

Early money has moved in favor of the Flames, and we expect that steam to continue. We're backing Calgary at home and would support the Flames up to the -125 range.

Pick: Flames (-118 at FanDuel)

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