Flames vs Maple Leafs Pick: NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction (Friday, November 10)

Flames vs Maple Leafs Pick: NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction (Friday, November 10) article feature image

Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Mikael Backlund of the Calgary Flames

Flames vs. Maple Leafs Odds

Friday, Nov. 10
7 p.m. ET
Flames Odds+130
Maple Leafs Odds-156
Over / Under
-138o / +112u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

There doesn't appear to be any remedy for whatever it is plaguing Canadian NHL teams. Most teams north of the border are struggling. Badly. Included in that conversation are two teams facing each other in a matchup on Friday: the Flames vs. Maple Leafs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs remain a top Stanley Cup contender but have delivered some of their worst results over their most recent schedule. Toronto is a disappointing 1-3-2 over its last six while dropping critical decisions to divisional opponents.

Still, they haven't been as bad as the Calgary Flames, who have started the year on an awful 4-7-1 run. Nevertheless, the Flames are showing signs of improvement after winning two straight ahead of Friday's stop at Scotiabank Arena.

Early money is coming in on the Flames, and the visitors are being steamed for a reason.

Calgary Flames

After opening as +145 underdogs, the Flames have been bought down to as low as +125 at some shops. And that love is well deserved.

Calgary has been one of the top analytics teams in the league this year, ranking 11th in expected goals-for and eighth in Corsi ratings.

More impressively, the Flames have reserved some of their best efforts for more recently, ensuring they enter Friday's inter-conference battle on solid footing.

Calgary is coming off its second-best analytics showing of the season. On Tuesday night, the Flames put up a 65.3% expected goals-for rating, delivering 31 scoring and 14 high-danger chances. That was the second straight game in which the Flames had recorded a game score above 59.6%, and the eighth time in 11 games they hit double-digits in quality chances.

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Moreover, they'll have the opportunity to build on those showings against a Leafs squad that's giving away chances in its own end.

Predictably, the Flames' surge in opportunities has resulted in improved output. Calgary has totaled 13 goals over its past three outings with eight of those tallies coming at 5-on-5.

We're expecting sustained success from the Flames as they remain short of several key benchmarks. Specifically, the Flames' 19 goals at 5-on-5 is below their expected total of 25.7. Further, their 6.3% shooting percentage is fourth-worst in the NHL despite their above-average scoring opportunities.

Consequently, this correction phase could continue as scoring catches up to production.

Toronto Maple Leafs

This past offseason, the Maple Leafs made several splashes in free agency to rebuild some of their perceived shortcomings.

However, those changes have had a negative effect on the team's analytics. Instead of reinforcing its core, Toronto's brass has eroded its previously sterling analytics.

Over the past three seasons, the Leafs have finished no worse than seventh in expected goals-for rating, climbing into the top three in all but one of those years.

This season though, the Original Six franchise has failed to maintain that standard. The Leafs have fallen to 25th in the NHL, posting a lackluster 47.2% rating through their first 13 games of the season.

Worse, there are no signs of improvement suggesting that anything is going to change.

The Maple Leafs have abandoned their defensive responsibilities, allowing opponents to steamroll them in their own end. Coming into Friday's battle, Toronto has given up 10 or more high-danger chances in four straight games. Over that stretch, opponents are averaging 13.5 opportunities, resulting in an increase in goals against.

Across that same four-game sample, Leafs goalies have allowed 19 goals with a sub-optimal 87.1% save percentage.

Flames vs. Maple Leafs

Betting Pick & Prediction

It's not reflected in the betting price just yet, but these teams come into Friday's contest on very different footing.

The Flames have improved their analytics standing over their recent sample, turning in some of their best performances of the year. Conversely, Toronto has outplayed just one of its last five opponents, collapsing in on itself night after night.

Bettors are right to fade the Leafs in this one, and there's still value in backing Calgary. We'd back the visitors up to the +115 range.
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