NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kraken vs Flames (Monday, March 4)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kraken vs Flames (Monday, March 4) article feature image

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Kraken vs. Flames Odds

Monday, March 4
9:30 p.m. ET
Kraken Odds+110
Flames Odds-130
Over / Under
+105o / -125u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Seattle Kraken vs. Calgary Flames on Monday, March 4 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

Two fringe Western Conference playoff teams collide and hope to keep their postseason dreams alive. Adding to the intrigue, both the Calgary Flames and Seattle Kraken are in the Pacific Division, amplifying the importance of this affair.

The Flames have a two-point advantage over the visiting Kraken. That puts Calgary seven points out of the final wild-card spot and the Kraken nine back.

Nevertheless, both teams have been making a move up the standings recently. Seattle is 5-2-1 over its past eight, trying to stay relevant in a crowded Western Conference race. Likewise, the Flames have won five in a row as they try to contend for a playoff spot without completely blowing up their roster.

Although both teams have put together admirable results, one team has a pronounced analytics advantage in this one. My Kraken vs. Flames prediction is below.

Seattle Kraken

Seattle is coming off a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Although it was just their second regulation loss since February 12, that effort perpetuated a more concerning trend. The Kraken have been outplayed in three straight and in six of their past 10. Consequently, Seattle is on the precipice of regression at the worst time of year.

The three-game sample looks worse than the 10-game retrospect. Over their past three, the Kraken have put up a lackluster 40.6% expected goals-for rating. Comparatively, that's substantially worse than the 10-game sample in which they posted a 47.3% expected goals-for rating, the ninth-worst in the league over that stretch. However, neither inspires confidence ahead of this pivotal clash against the Flames.

The Kraken aren't an imposing offensive force, and that's reflected over their recent results. Seattle has eclipsed eight high-danger chances in just three of its previous 10 and is yielding an underwhelming average of 7.4 per game. Predictably, scoring opportunities are equally scarce, with the Kraken surpassing 24 only twice and averaging 22.5 over this stretch.

Seattle's overall success is premised on unsustainable metrics, suggesting that a correction phase is on the horizon.

Calgary Flames

Surprisingly, the Flames picked up a monumental come-from-behind victory on Saturday night as they erased a 3-1 deficit in the final 10 minutes against the Pittsburgh Penguins. That victory was emblematic of Calgary's improved play and renewed optimism as it climbs the Western Conference standings.

In that contest, the Flames narrowly tilted the expected goals-for rating in their favor. Nine of their 16 shots and 10 of their 22 scoring opportunities came in the final stanza, precipitating a 50.04% game score. In doing so, Calgary outplayed its opponent for the fifth time in seven games, relying on improved defensive play to bolster its analytics.

Across that seven-game sample, the Flames have held four of seven opponents to seven or fewer high-danger chances and all but one to fewer than 22 scoring opportunities. As a result, their respective averages of 8.4 and 20.7 put them ahead of their regular season average.

Further, those defensive advantages are more pronounced at home. Calgary has the opportunity to line match against the Kraken's most imposing offensive players. But even they struggle to produce with any consistency.

Kraken vs. Flames

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Flames may have salvaged their playoff hopes with their comeback victory on Saturday. Now, they get to carry that momentum into Monday's Pacific Division battle against the lowly Kraken.

Seattle has outlasted its metrics, winning games despite getting outplayed on a near nightly basis. I'm expecting the Kraken to go into a tailspin as their results slow down to reflect their on-ice effort.

The betting line on the home side is too short. The Flames have been the superior team, whereas Seattle has been lucky to steal wins in its friendly confines. That good fortune will come to an end as I expect the Flames to triumph at the Saddledome. Any number better than -150 is worth investing in.

Pick: Flames -130 (Bet365)

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