NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Ducks vs. Flames
Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: John Gibson.
- The Calgary Flames host the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
- The Flames are known for putting up gaudy shot totals, while the Ducks allow the most shots against.
- Honing in on this in his Ducks vs. Flames analysis, Nicholas Martin has a player prop to target.
Ducks vs. Flames Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
A pair of victories in a tough road back-to-back through Dallas and Minnesota has boosted Calgary’s playoff hopes back up to 49%. It will be in an ideal spot to claim two critical points Friday, as the Flames host the visiting Ducks as a -400 favorite.
Anaheim owns a historically bad goal differential of -100, which is 28 goals worse than any other side in a season which holds a number of notably poor teams.
Over the last 15 games, Anaheim has allowed an average of 41.02 shots against per 60, a downright shocking number considering it comes in a meaningful sample size.
It has controlled play to an expected goals share of just 38.19% in those 15 contests.
The loss of top two-way center Adam Henrique is significant, and has coincided with this particularly bad sample.
Henrique is one of the few Ducks players boasting positive underlying results at even strength, and was a good option for Dallas Eakins to deploy versus top opposition units.
The Ducks have provided the worst defensive environment in the league for goaltending duo John Gibson and Lukas Dostal. Gibson is projected to start tonight, and he has played to a .902 save % and -4.2 GSAx throughout 44 appearances.
Darryl Sutter’s Flames remain an analytical darling that’s consistently controlled far more of the play than anyone might expect for a team likely to miss the playoffs in a thin Western Conference.
Close losses and a poor record past regulation has hidden the Flames’ sound process, as well as the fact that neither Dan Vladar or Jacob Markstrom has been particularly sharp in goal.
Calgary has stuck with an approach of littering the opposition’s goal with a ton of shot attempts, going with somewhat of a quantity-over-quality approach in the offensive zone.
This tendency has been particularly clear vs. bottom sides, which are more likely to collapse beneath the puck in the offensive zone.
Calgary has averaged 39.18 shots on goal in 11 matchups versus the league’s bottom-six teams, including in its previous matchup versus Anaheim.
Ducks vs. Flames Pick
This sets up as an excellent spot for the Flames to take advantage of a treacherous Ducks side and control the vast majority of the play.
Playing the Flames to cover -1.5 is reasonable even at -140 and would be my second play on the game, but backing either Dostal or Gibson to go over their saves prop will likely hold more value.
Calgary has consistently peppered the opposition goal with shots, which has regularly led to opposing goalies posting higher than average save totals.
Oddsmakers have not been inflating Calgary’s opposition save props enough, and that likely will occur again in this spot where the Flames project to manage 40 or more shots.
So while Gibson or Dostal will likely be listed with a much higher than average save total of 33.5, I still do not think that compensates enough with a shot-heavy Calgary side playing the team allowing the most shots against.
There is concern this game gets out of reach early, which would greatly hurt our chances with this wager, but even accounting for some losses due to awful game scripts, I see enough value to play over 33.5 to -120.
Unfortunately these props are among the last to go live as oddsmakers wait for goalie confirmations, so these prices and totals are being estimated based upon previous matchups.
Keep your eyes out as later in the day as these props should become widely available. This is a play I really like assuming we do not see drastically different prices than usual.
Pick: John Gibson/Lukas Dostal Over 33.5 Saves to -120.
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