Coyotes vs. Flyers Odds, Prediction: Bet the Winless Underdog

Coyotes vs. Flyers Odds, Prediction: Bet the Winless Underdog article feature image

Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Andrew Ladd, Jakob Chychrun

  • Updated odds for Coyotes-Flyers list Arizona as nearly a 2-1 underdog, but this line has ping-ponged around a bit.
  • The Coyotes opened north of +220 at DraftKings, fell all the way to +170, and the Flyers have since been bet back up to put Arizona at around +190 a few hours from puck drop.
  • Michael Leboff is holding his nose and betting the winless Yotes against a smoke-and-mirrors Flyers team.

Flyers vs. Coyotes Odds

Coyotes Odds+190
Flyers Odds-240
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Tonight could be the night.

The Arizona Coyotes are the last team in the NHL without a win, skating to an 0-8-1 record and a -26 goal differential through their first nine games. Hockey is such a random sport that bad teams win all the time, but this still isn't that surprising. The Coyotes have a massive rebuild ahead of them and are not even at the "let the kids play" stage of the project.

Instead, they're embracing the tank by giving out meaningful ice time to past-their-prime veterans like Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, Andrew Ladd, Anton Stralman and Antoine Roussel.

As bleak as the first nine games have been for this club, there are actually a few signals that are pointing to the Desert Dogs getting their first win on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

It's Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia

Despite sitting 26th in the NHL with a 46% Expected Goals Rate and 30th with a 43.4% High-Danger Chance Rate, the Philadelphia Flyers have started the season 4-2-1 and boast a +6 Goal Differential at 5-on-5.

While strong goaltending is playing a role in Philadelphia’s hot start, the main ingredient are some piping hot shooters. The Flyers have taken the fewest shots on goal in the NHL this season, yet they are second in the league with a 12.6 shooting percentage and first overall with a 10.97 shooting percentage at 5-on-5.

And it’s not like this is a quality over quantity situation, either. The Flyers are averaging 9.13 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, which is good enough for 25th league-wide.

Some teams are able to sustain high shooting percentages because of an abundance of finishing talent. I wouldn't classify Philadelphia as a squad that drips with scorers, so I am very skeptical that a team that struggles to get rubber to the net will continue to find the back of the net this often.

Regression looms.

Arizona's Defense…Not Terrible

You have to look pretty hard for silver linings with the worst team in the NHL, but (relatively speaking) the Arizona Coyotes have actually done a pretty decent job preventing high-danger scoring chances. Arizona ranks 12th leaguewide in Expected Goals Allowed and 18th in High-Danger Chances conceded.

That may not be anything to write home about, especially when your offense has scored 13 goals in nine games, but it is a starting point for a team that desperately needs one.

It also allows gives the goaltenders a chance to nick a win or two. In fact, the Coyotes have the sixth-highest expected save percentage in the NHL, per MoneyPuck, meaning this defense is doing its best to make life easy on its netminders.

And goaltender Karel Vejmelka, an unheralded rookie out of the Czech Republic, is doing his part, too. Vejmelka has stopped 91.8% of the shots he's faced and has a -0.7 Goals Saved Above Average (GSAx), which is certainly good enough for this team to get a win sometime soon.

Where the defense has completely imploded is on the penalty kill. The Coyotes are dead last in the league with a 58.6% Penalty Kill Success Rate. That number is frighteningly bad, especially since the Yotes are averaging 13.6 penalty minutes per contest.

Even if Arizona does end up with the worst penalty kill unit in the NHL this season, it won't be this bad all season. It's almost impossible to allow teams to score on over 40% of their power plays. I expect this number to normalize as the season moves on.

Arizona Can Upset Philadelphia

Everything comes down to price in betting. It would be easy for me to sit here and say, bet on Philadelphia to win this game or cover the puck-line because the Flyers are a much better team than the Coyotes, but that's not how gambling works.

Instead, we're married to data and probabilities and tonight the numbers are whispering: "Do it, you coward."

The current prices suggest that Arizona (+190) wins this game roughly 34.5% of the time. Considering that Philadelphia has not been a great 5-on-5 team — Arizona actually has a slightly better xG% this season — and is due for some offensive regression, I think this number is definitely worth taking a shot on, no matter how much it hurts.

Bring on the misery.

Pick: Coyotes +185 or better

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