Flyers vs. Bruins Odds & Prediction | NHL Betting Preview (November 17)
Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins.
- The Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins face off Thursday in a matchup of two teams going in opposite directions of late.
- The red hot Bruins have won four straight and are massive favorites (-340 moneyline odds) against the Flyers who have dropped four in a row.
- Nicholas Martin explains how he's finding value on the home favorites in tonight's game.
Flyers vs. Bruins Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After a surprisingly hot start to the season, the Philadelphia Flyers, desperate to snap a four game losing skid, will head in to Boston to face the Bruins who have won their past four in a row. The Bruins are 9-0-0 on home ice, and at 14-2-0 are now the Presidents Trophy favorites at just +220.
Which means according to oddsmakers Boston is more likely to win the Presidents Trophy than the Flyers are to win this game, as Philadelphia can be had at +280 to take this one.
Will Boston remain perfect on home ice with a win over the Flyers, or is Tortorella’s scrappy group a live underdog?
Although a 7-6-3 record so far comes as a surprise, the Flyers seem to be taking on exactly the kind of form most expected entering the season.
Philadelphia appeared to be ready to go to start the campaign, and settled into a high intensity style right out of training camp under new head coach John Tortorella while most sides still seemed to be finding their legs.
The Flyers have fallen apart over the past four games, losing four straight with a combined goal differential of -11. To make matters worse, three of those contests were against the lowly Blue Jackets and Senators.
The underlying numbers are horrible, too: The Flyers played to just a 44.59% Expected Goals For Rating in those matchups, which is especially dreadful if you compare Columbus’ underlying results in any other matchup.
The roster simply does not seem to have the bodies to turn this poor early defensive play around either.
It’s been widely covered how horrible the play of Rasmus Ristolainen has been with the Flyers and is to be expected, but the surprising drop-off in form from Travis Sanheim in the early going is a hole new can of worms for an incredibly bad roster.
Carter Hart is doing all he can in goal for the Flyers, and will likely be counted on for another massive performance tonight.
Hart’s +14.2 goals saved above expected rating is the highest mark in hockey by a significant margin, even with a .929 Save Percentage, which is below that of Connor Hellebuyck.
That’s a comment towards the quality of shots he is facing, and we should expect a tough night for Hart here.
Boston has scored at a ridiculous 4.00 goals for per game average to this point, and if there is a side not likely to allow Carter Hart to steal a game, it’s this Bruins team.
The Bruins own a 25.4% powerplay success rate to this point, and will look to expose a Flyers side that has killed off just 76% of penalties thus far.
A larger portion of powerplay goals are of the variety in which a goaltender simply has no chance, and the Bruins have regularly shown the ability to find strong seam plays on the man advantage leading to tap-ins.
Boston has also shown a strong willingness to compete for ice in the dirty areas, and feature a number of elite offensive defenders who can get dangerous point shots through.
If Boston can continue to generate offense anywhere near the level we have seen in the early going, this team will be a true cup favorite as the last several playoff runs have sputtered out due to a lack of offence.
This Bruins core has regularly been one of the best defensive sides in hockey, and has not lost a step under new head coach Jim Montgomery. The Bruins own a third best xGA/60 of 2.19 this season, and has allowed the least goals against per game at exactly 2.19.
Which is especially impressive considering top defender Charlie McAvoy has played just three contests, and the Bruins are 3-0 since his return.
Goaltender Jeremy Swayman is off of the IR and will likely make a return to game action soon, but the early indications are that Linus Ullmark will get this start. Ullmark has thrived behind Boston’s elite team defense, and owns a +7.0 goals saved above expected rating with a .935 Save Percentage this season.
Flyers vs. Bruins Pick
Boston has been the league’s most impressive team out of the gates, and while statistically its level of play still is not going to lead to an .875 winning percentage, this is not the time to sell-high.
Philadelphia has trended towards exactly the kind of results its roster and underlying numbers dictated were due, and this is not a good spot for the Flyers to snap its streak at all.
You can make a legitimate case that the Bruins are closer to 65% likely to cover this puck-line if not higher. Even if we put some weighting on the fact that Boston may be due for a let-down, I still can’t look away from the square take here.
Boston has covered the spread in seven of its nine home games to this point with an average goal differential of +2.22 in those games. Counting road games as well the Bruins have covered in 11-of-16 matchups this season leading to a +30 goal differential altogether.
Considering Philly still appears likely to be one of the league’s worst sides, there’s a better chance than -120 suggests that those trends hold true, and I like a play on Boston -1.5.
Pick: Bruins -1.5 -120 (Play to -130)