Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche Betting Preview
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado Avalanche standout Nicolas Aube-Kubel celebrates with his teammates.
- The Calgary Flames take on the Colorado Avalanche in Sunday's NHL action.
- The Avalanche, who are solid -160 ML favorites, are looking get revenge from the defeat they suffered last time against the hosts.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup below and delivers two picks tied to the contest.
Flames vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Hockey fans could be in for a treat Sunday, as just eight days after playing one of the better games of the NHL season, the scorching hot Calgary gets reacquainted Sunday with Stanley Cup favorite Colorado.
The Flames beat the Avalanche, 4-3, in overtime last weekend behind a Johnny Gaudreau winner and have followed that with another strong week of play that includes Saturday’s 3-0 shutout of Detroit.
So, can Calgary get the best of Colorado again or will playing its fifth game in six days against the high-powered side prove too difficult of a spot?
It’s been a tough run of play for the Avalanche, who have lost four of their last five games after a frustrating 2-0 defeat in Carolina on Thursday. Now, they head in to this game short two key pieces in captain Gabriel Landeskog and Samuel Girard.
However, it’s fair to say the Colorado has still been mainly fine over this five-game lull, as it’s playing meaningless games and its 50.95 expected-goals rate considering the tough opposition faced is still reasonable.
Colorado put together a solid effort in Carolina onThursday, where simply nobody can find wins, and realistically could easily have fared better in the 2-0 loss. That’s especially after some very iffy third-period officiating saw Carolina get a power-play opportunity, which cashed the winner.
The losses of two top players would be devastating to many rosters, but for the Avalanche it just means more minutes for some other talented players. Landeskog’s loss could be navigable, as the offense is absolutely loaded, and allows a good opportunity for others to step up.
Colorado is capable of playing at a pace very few can match, so I think we will see the team play closer to their best here as they look to dial it up for the postseason.
And while normally I don’t love to put too much stock too into these “extra-intensity” angles, Colorado clearly has the talent on paper and shown it has the capability to play better than they have of late.
Darcy Kuemper will likely get the start in goal, looking to build on a +15.3 goals saved above expected rating and a .919 save % throughout 41 games played this season.
Calgary put forth yet another dominant victory l at the Saddledome, outshooting some lesser competition by a 43-19 margin. That makes this tough spot against Colorado a little after controlling Saturday’s contest.
At this point, I think it has been well covered that Calgary has been arguably the best team in the league in 2022, and a win here for the Flames would certainly be another massive statement.
After Monday’s win over Edmonton, head coach Darryl Sutter speculated his club’s legs looked tired. And since then, the Flames have played three more contests and will enter this one facing their second back-to-back set of the week, fifth game in six days and eighth game of the month.
The Flames, excellent defensive structure and puck movement can certainly help to cover some heavy legs, but this will be a very firm challenge to say the least against a club that I still see as the rightful favorite in the Western Conference.
It’s hard to speculate about whether we will see Sutter manage Jacob Markstrom’s start count or go with backup Dan Vladar.
Markstrom holds a +11.3 goals saved above expected rating with a .927 save % throughout 45 games played, while Vladar has a -5.5 goals saved above expected rating with a .900 save % through 14 games.
Flames vs. Avalanche Pick
Even short Girard and Landeskog, the roster the Avalanche will have is downright scary. And I simply don’t think we’ve seen this unit play near its best this week, although it’s certainly valid to say it could have fared better against league-leading Carolina.
So, while the Flames have obviously been in excellent form, this sets up as a huge spot for the Avalanche to get back on track, entering this one after a frustrating road trip and having rested since Thursday.
My opinion is that Colorado is still worthy of being the Cup favorite with the depth and offensive upside, and I think it shows why here, but imagine Calgary still finds a way to get a few goals.
So, I see value backing the Avalanche to win at -160, which I’d play to -165, as well as on the total clearing six goals at -130, which I would play down to -150 odds.
However, those numbers might not hang around long.
Pick: Colorado ML (-160) | Total Over 6 Goals (-130)