NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Ducks vs. Flames (February 16)
Via Gerry Thomas/Getty Images. Pictured: #73 Tyler Toffoli and #8 Christopher Tanev of the Calgary Flames.
- The Anaheim Ducks travel to Calgary to face the Flames on Wednesday night.
- The Flames are home favorites, but are they overvalued on the second leg of a back-to-back?
- NHL betting analyst Nick Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Ducks vs. Flames Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Calgary Flames posted another big home win Tuesday night with a 42-shot, 6-2 domination of the Blue Jackets. The Flames will prepare to do it all over again on Wednesday when they host the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks will enter looking to get things moving back in the right direction after a home loss last time out to the lowly Kraken. The Ducks have seen their once strong playoff chances dwindle to just 32.6% (courtesy of MoneyPuck) over an extended period of middling results.
Toffoli Just What Flames Needed
The Flames have produced a ridiculous run, with nine wins in 10 contests, an absurd +28 Goal Differential and a league-leading 63.48 Expected Goals For rate over that time.
The strong play rightfully had GM Brad Treliving looking to buy heading into the trade deadline. His addition of Tyler Toffoli seems like a perfect add because he has helped the Flames with scoring depth – clearly the club’s biggest need.
Toffoli scored a pretty goal on a great dish from Johnny Gaudreau last night. His continued scoring touch would be a huge boost to a middle-six forward corps, which has been the Flames’ main concern this season.
That is a scary thought, as Calgary has already been very dominant of late. The Flames have won seven straight contests on home ice, covering the puck line in six of seven.
During that streak, they’ve won by an average of 3.85 goals per game, including big victories over tough competition in Florida, Vegas, Toronto and St. Louis.
Jacob Markstrom should get the start here having rested Tuesday, and has been excellent this season with a +11.4 goals saved above expected rating and a .926 save % throughout 36 games played this season.
Can Gibson and the Young Ducks Pull the Upset?
Anaheim has continued to post more middling results as the season has run along. Although it’s been a very positive 49 games for the Ducks’ developing young group, a playoff berth is becoming less and less likely.
Over their last eight contests, the Ducks hold an Expected Goals Share of just 47.83%. Considering that they are a group I would expect to score below expected at even strength (as they have done by -0.95 goals so far), they aren’t likely to steal many games when they aren’t controlling more of the run of play.
The Ducks roster still has some clear holes, although the progress of key young stars in Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale and Troy Terry has been very positive.
However, this sets up as a bad matchup against a Flames team managing the puck very well of late and plays a heavy and sharp team game.
Holding an elite goaltender in John Gibson is certainly a massive positive for the Ducks, and we should him get the start again here. He has posted a +10.5 Goals Saved Above Expected rating with a .921 Save % in 34 games played this season.
Ducks vs. Flames Pick
The Flames have taken their play to a truly dominant level of late, and it’s easy to see how this contest sets up as another favorable one at home against a Ducks team likely skating with an inflated record.
The Flames skated comfortably through their contest with the Blue Jackets last night at home, and although this is a back-to-back situation, it’s the most ideal of that variety. A price of +140 for Calgary to cover another home puck-line against some middling competition seems quite long.
The Flames are offering considerably more depth, and their ridiculously strong top line should give fits to any line match the Ducks can offer.
I would take this now and do not expect to see a better price. Play the Flames -1.5 down to +115.
Pick: Calgary Flames -1.5 +140 (Play to +115)