Tuesday NHL Odds, Betting Preview & Predictions for Flames vs. Predators (April 19)
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Juuse Saros
- The Predators are home underdogs on Tuesday night against the Flames.
- With the Flames playing the second leg of a back-to-back, is there value in fading them against a desperate Predators team?
- Nick Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Flames vs. Predators Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Nashville Predators will host the Calgary Flames in need of a crucial bounce-back effort after being thoroughly dominated in an 8-3 home loss to the rival Blues on Sunday. The Flames will be playing the second leg of a road back-to-back while looking to officially lock up first place in the Pacific Division.
The Flames are undoubtedly the better team, but could this spot lend itself to a potential upset for a Predators group in a massive spot on home ice?
Can the Flames Survive the Back-To-Back?
The majority of my handicap is going to revolve around the situational spot for the Flames late in the season here. I’m not going to overplay any narratives that the Flames are regressing or are not legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.
The Flames have played to a 55.49 xGF% over their last 10 outings, with a strong 6-3-1 record over that time. However, they have played more shaky games of late than that record possibly suggests, and that sample includes eight games against non-playoff competition.
In the two games vs. playoff-bound teams, the Flames lost both. If you want to throw the Golden Knights in as a borderline playoff team, especially now with more of the roster playing, the Flames have managed an 0-3 mark against better teams during that span.
My belief is still that this is a legitimately strong Flames team, but their playoff chances should be in the same tier as the Blues and Wild, in the tier below the Avalanche in the Western Conference.
The Flames have fared well in back-to-backs altogether but are just 3-4-1 in the second leg of back-to-backs against playoff-bound teams.
Dan Vladar will almost surely get the start here. Going back-to-back with top goaltender Jacob Markstrom at this point in the season would seem highly unnecessary and illogical for the Flames.
Vladar surely offers a drop off from the play Markstrom offers in goal, but he has been more stable throughout his 19 games than his -5.0 Goals Saved Above Expected rating and .905 Save Percentage suggest.
The Time Is Right To Buy Low On the Predators
The Predators have put together a poor run of play at exactly the wrong time. A 5-4-1 run over the last 10 has cracked the door open for what would ultimately be quite a collapse, with the Golden Knights breathing down their necks.
Over that span, Nashville has played to a reasonable 52.08 Expected Goals share, but even still it has clearly been one of the worst stretches of play the Predators’ season.
This seems like a good buy-low spot for a team that has played far better on home ice to get right on Tuesday. Nashville is at essentially full health and quietly features a handful of offensive pieces capable of making life tough for the Flames in this spot.
Nashville features a daunting schedule down the stretch, with games against Tampa, Calgary, Minnesota, and Colorado. It will be a borderline playoff affair for the Preds Tuesday at Bridgestone, where they have managed a 24-14-0 record.
Juuse Saros will likely start in goal and has put together another excellent season with a +23.0 Goals Saved Above Expected rating and a .920 Save Percentage in 64 games played.
Flames vs. Predators Pick
There are a number of factors working in the Predators’ favor here, and this is a spot where I feel far more comfortable backing the home underdog.
Nashville has played very well on home ice, and even in an ideal scenario for the Flames, this opening line looks about fair.
Considering that the Predators should have a playoff-level urgency and will face Vladar as opposed to Markstrom, it’s easy to see why there’s value getting the Preds at +125.
The Preds feature a lineup that is legitimately good, rather than wildly overachieving in one-goal games like we saw last season.
This is a game that projects closer to a coin-flip, and I see value backing Nashville down to +110 in what will be a hard-fought game.
Pick: Nashville Predators +125 (Play to +110)
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