NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flames vs. Golden Knights
Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob Markstrom.
- The Golden Knights are short home favorites on Thursday night against the Flames.
- Both of these teams are due for regression, but which side does the puck luck favor?
- Grant White breaks down the matchup and shares his betting prediction for Flames vs. Golden Knights below.
Flames vs. Golden Knights Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-138|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Calgary Flames continue to fight for a playoff spot, sitting two points behind the final wild card spot with 24 games left in the regular season. Their path up the standings is obstructed by the Vegas Golden Knights, who host their division rivals on Thursday night. The Flames are coming in on the second night of a back-to-back, but that’s the only factor working against the visitors. Find a betting preview and prediction for Flames vs. Golden Knights below.
Flames Due for Positive Regression
Calgary has been one of the unluckiest teams in the NHL, and that’s even more pronounced over its recent schedule. The Flames have the third-best Expected Goals-For rating this season but sit third-last in PDO, highlighting their limited puck luck. Considering their recent performances, they should expect a few bounces over the coming games.
The Flames’ analytics are in the best shape we’ve seen all season. The playoff hopefuls have outplayed their opponents in 11 of their last 13 games, usually by a substantive margin. Over that stretch, Calgary has posted a cumulative 60.2% rating, well above its season-long benchmark of 54.9%. Still, the Flames only have six wins across the 13-game sample, dragging their PDO down to 0.958. In reconciling the Flames’ outcomes with their analytics, they are natural progression candidates.
Kudos to the Flames for handling their goaltending situation appropriately in advance of the back-to-back. Backup tendy Dan Vladar started last night’s win over the Arizona Coyotes, meaning Jacob Markstrom will be fresh for tonight’s Pacific Division showdown. Markstrom has been at his best against divisional opponents, posting a 2.65 Goals-Against Average while going 6-2-1.
Sell High on the Golden Knights
The Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights have been trending positively recently. Vegas has posted an Expected Goals-For rating below 50.0% just once over their last eight games and are one of the few teams that can hang with the Flames analytically. However, they are on the opposite end of the progression/regression spectrum after a massive jump in their PDO.
Predictably, the Knights’ outcomes reflect their solid play. Vegas is 5-1-2 over the eight-game sample, outscoring their opponents by a cumulative 28-17. In doing so, the Golden Knights have elevated their combined shooting and save percentages to an inflated 1.040. Moreover, the PDO has increased above the hypothetical average, implying Vegas could be a regression candidate over their coming games.
We may have gotten a taste of that from their most recent outing, in which they dropped a 3-2 decision to the lowly Chicago Blackhawks. Vegas dictated possession but was out-chanced in High-Danger Opportunities, posting its worst rating since January 24. That could foreshadow the new few games for the Golden Knights as their output cools and balances out with the boost we had seen from the past two weeks.
Flames vs. Golden Knights Pick
Walking away with three of a possible four points would be a big win for the Flames. As such, we’re expecting them to lean into their defensive structure as they try to limit a potent Golden Knights attack. However, considering their recent surge in production but limited wins, we’re expecting the Flames to steal the full two points against their division rivals.
The Golden Knights have reached an unsustainable level of play and could be on the wrong end of a few close decisions over their coming games. This one should get sorted out in overtime, with the Flames prevailing.
Pick: 60-Minute Tie +320, Flames Moneyline +132
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