NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flames vs Canadiens (Tuesday, November 14)
Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov
Flames vs. Canadiens Odds
The Montreal Canadiens host the Calgary Flames in the early window of Tuesday night's NHL slate.
Low-scoring games have been a trend between these two teams, who have scored six or fewer total goals in eight of the past 10 meetings.
Will we see another low-scoring affair, or can the goals pick up?
Let's preview the NHL odds, as well as my Flames vs. Canadiens prediction and betting pick for Tuesday, November 14.
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Calgary should be a great "under" team moving forward this season.
First, the offense is terrible.
At 5-on-5, the Flames rank 20th in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60). This team has, predictably, never been the same since losing Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, and the Flames now rank near the bottom of the league (27th) in goals scored per game.
However, they have been better in the defensive zone, ranking 11th in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5. Calgary is loaded with talent on the back end with all three pairings contributing to this defensive success.
The one question mark in taking the under with the Flames is goaltending. Jacob Markstrom is slated to take the crease, and it has been a tough year for the veteran netminder.
With that said, Markstrom has fared extremely well against the Habs since joining Calgary. Through 12 starts against Montreal while wearing a red and white jersey, Markstrom boasts a .932 SV% and 1.84 GAA.
There were six or fewer total goals scored in 10 of those 12 outings.
Speaking of goaltending, Jake Allen has put together a strong start to the campaign for the Canadiens.
Through seven starts, he boasts a .911 SV% and 3.31 GAA.
Allen has saved 0.671 goals above expected per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, which is the seventh-highest mark in the league among goaltenders with a minimum of seven starts.
In front of Allen, Montreal's blue line is still young and developing, but it has gotten some strong defensive play out of guys like Kaiden Guhle and Johnathan Kovacevic.
Meanwhile, in a similar fashion to Calgary, the offense has been stale. At 5-on-5, the Habs rank 22nd in the league in xGF/60. The injury to Kirby Dach has certainly not helped.
Flames vs. Canadiens
Betting Pick & Prediction
Montreal ranks 23rd in the league in goals scored per game, a ranking that is even higher than it would otherwise be if the Habs didn't boast the 10th-best power play in hockey.
The problem for Tuesday is that Calgary is killing penalties at an 87% clip, which is the fifth-best mark in the league.
Not only are they killing penalties, but they are taking few of them as they rank eighth in penalty minutes. Keeping Montreal off the power play should keep this game low-scoring, especially considering all the other aforementioned variables.
I am playing the Under 6 at +100 – which is listed under "Total Goals (Flat Line)" at FanDuel – but I think there is also value in taking the Under at 6.5 at -118 (at DraftKings) if you wish to go that route.