NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flames vs. Predators (January 16)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flames vs. Predators (January 16) article feature image

Leah Hennel/Getty Images. Pictured: Nazem Kadri

  • The Predators are short home underdogs on Monday night in Nashville against the Calgary Flames.
  • The Flames' forwards have been on fire of late, but can the Predators keep up with them?
  • Ryan Dadoun breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Flames vs. Predators Odds

Flames Odds-138
Predators Odds+115
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Flames have plenty to be happy about after going 2-0-2 over the first four games of their road trip to push their record to 21-14-9. With every point being vital as they fight to maintain their Wild Card spot, the Flames have an opportunity to keep the good times going Monday when they play in Nashville.

The Predators are moving in the opposite direction, having dropped their last three games to fall to 19-17-6. Momentum certainly favors Calgary, but beyond that, is there a meaningful gap between these two teams?

Find a betting preview and prediction for Flames vs. Predators below.

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Can the Flames' Forwards Stay Hot?

It's true that Calgary suffered a 4-1 loss to Nashville on Nov. 3, but the Flames were in the midst of a season-worst seven-game losing streak. The situation is different now.

The Flames have scored 3.14 goals per game this season, which only puts them in a tie for 17th, but their forwards are hot, providing an average of four goals over their last five contests.

Nazem Kadri has thrived over that span, recording at least a point in each game for a total of three goals and six points. Jonathan Huberdeau has been similarly effective in Calgary's last five contests with a goal and six points, while Tyler Toffoli has only been held off the scoresheet once in his last eight games.

Unfortunately for the Flames, their goaltending hasn't been nearly as impressive lately. Jacob Markstrom is having a rough season overall with a 13-10-5 record, 2.84 GAA and .893 save percentage in 30 contests. He's been particularly poor recently, stopping just 31 of 38 shots over his last two games. However, it wouldn't be surprising if Markstrom started after Dan Vladar got the nod Saturday and allowed five goals on 33 shots.

The silver lining for Calgary is that Nashville isn't well equipped to take advantage of Calgary's goaltending woes.

Predators Looking for Puck Luck

Nashville ranks just 27th offensively with 2.76 goals per game, and unlike the Flames, the Predators' forwards haven't done any better lately. The one big exception is Juuso Parssinen. After recording three goals and nine points in his first 21 contests, the 21-year-old rookie has provided a goal and eight points in his last six games.

Overall though, the Predators' forward core is nothing special. There are 50 players who have reached the 40-point milestone, and none of them play for Nashville. Filip Forsberg is the closest to that group with 18 goals and 38 points in 42 contests.

For what it's worth, Nashville's 5v5 Goals For Above Expected is -18.06, per Moneypuck, which is the second-worst in the league. That suggests the Predators forwards might be suffering from a bit of bad puck luck, so perhaps they'll do better in the second half of the campaign.

Nashville also has goaltender Juuse Saros, who had a rough start to the season but has bounced back to post a 12-6-4 record, 2.43 GAA and .930 save percentage in his last 22 games. Even now, Saros isn't a sure thing, but there are nights where he earns the win practically singlehandedly.

Flames vs. Predators Pick

Calgary is being treated as a favorite by the oddsmakers–but not an overwhelming one. The Flames have -138 odds on FanDuel's moneyline while Nashville stands at +115. Given the Flames' recent play coupled with Nashville's struggles, that's a reasonable potential payout for taking Calgary.

The possible return does grow to +176 if you take the Flames on the puck line, but the spread is 1.5 goals against them. Given that the Flames' goaltending hasn't been great lately and Saros always has the potential to frustrate even hot offenses, I don't have enough confidence to bet on Calgary beating that spread.

Still, the Flames have a clear edge here, and the moneyline odds are good enough that I'm happy to take the bet.

If you're looking for something with a better potential payout, then you could consider taking the under of six goals, which comes with -110 odds. I'm hesitant to go in that direction myself because of the Flames' recent goaltending issues, but the play has merit given that these two teams rank in the bottom half of the league offensively this season.

Pick: Flames ML -138 (Play to -145)

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