NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Flyers vs. Kraken
Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Matty Beniers of the Seattle Kraken.
- The Flyers are underdogs on Thursday night when they face the Kraken in Seattle.
- Both teams are due for regression, but which side benefits most in this matchup?
- Grant White breaks down this game and shares his betting prediction below.
Flyers vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Pacific Division standings continue to change daily as teams jostle for position down the stretch. Among those are the Seattle Kraken, who sit just two points back of the Vegas Golden Knights for the top spot. They’ll have a chance to tie the frontrunners with a win against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
Flyers Due for Regression
The Flyers are one game below .500 with fewer than two months to go in the regular season. Although it’s been a moderately successful season compared to last year’s debacle, a few indicators suggest Philadelphia is due for regression.
First, the Flyers’ Actual Goals-For rating exceeds their expected value, implying they are overachieving relative to their metrics. Worse, that benchmark has deteriorated over the past few weeks, with the Flyers posting a 46.4% rating since January 22. Philadelphia has been outplayed in six of nine outings across that stretch, exceeding their implied win total by claiming victory in four of those outings.
Second, Philadelphia has been one of the worst defensive squads in the NHL, and like his team, Carter Hart is due for a correction phase. The Flyers rank seventh-worst in Scoring Chances Allowed and sixth-worst in High-Danger Opportunities. Those metrics have looked worse over their last nine games, with opponents averaging 25.3 and 12.1, respectively.
Hart has done what’s needed to bail his teammates out, but he’s struck an unsustainable balance with his current form. The fifth-year pro is stopping 96.1% of shots over his past four starts, well above his season-long save percentage of 91.3%. Moreover, he’s approaching career highs in starts, minutes and saves and could burn out before the season’s end.
Kraken Are Progression Candidates
The Kraken have been one of the most unexpected surprises in the NHL this season. The league’s newest franchise is light years ahead of last season’s standing, already surpassing their inaugural win total and points. More importantly, their metrics validate that ongoing success is expected.
Seattle has outplayed its opponents in seven of the last nine, elevating their season-long Expected Goals-For Rating to 50.8%. They’ve been turning the tide with improved analytics, out-possessing their opponents in all but two of those outings and out-chancing them in scoring chances in seven of 10. Still, the Kraken have only four wins over that 10-game sample, meaning they are due for some puck luck.
That should come over their next few games, as the Kraken settle in to play four of their next five at home. Seattle’s Expected Goals-For rating jumps to 54.9% in their friendly confines, ninth-best in the Chell. As expected, their High-Danger and Scoring Chance Ratings improve at Climate Pledge Arena, but their PDO decreases, another indicator the Kraken are progression candidates.
Flyers vs. Kraken Pick
The Kraken dominated both ends of the ice when these teams met a few days ago. Seattle out-chanced its inter-conference opponents in scoring chances by a 26-14 margin, yielding a 63.1% Expected Goals-For Rating. We’re anticipating more of the same on Thursday, with the Kraken escaping with a win.
Pick: Kraken ML -192
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