NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Flames (April 21)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Flames (April 21) article feature image

Codie McLachlan/Getty Images. Pictured: Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markström.

  • The Calgary Flames welcome the Dallas Stars to Canada for Thursday's NHL matchup.
  • The Flames are solid -195 moneyline favorites on home ice, but analyst Tony Sartori has found betting value on the total.
  • Check out below where he has landed with his top pick.

Stars vs. Flames Odds

Stars Odds+165
Flames Odds-195
Over/Under5.5 (-120 / +100)
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Central Division's fifth-place Dallas Stars travel to Canada to take on the Pacific Division's first-place Calgary Flames in Thursday's NHL action.

This is the third meeting between these teams this season, as the total cleared 5.5 goals in each of the first two matchups.

So, will we see another high-scoring affair or can the goaltending step up this time around? Let's take a look to see where we can find some betting value.

Dallas Stars

The Stars enter this contest on the second half of a road back-to-back set following Wednesday's game against the Edmonton Oilers. Not only that, but this matchup will also be Dallas' third game in four nights.

Due to the heavy schedule, we could see a lot of tired legs from these skaters. Prior to Wednesday's game, the Dallas offense has really struggled.

During their last 10 contests prior to Wednesday, the Stars are averaging just 2.6 goals per game. On the other hand, their defense has done a good job recently and could keep the Flames' dangerous offense at bay.

This season, the Stars rank eighth in the league in 5-on-5 expected goals against per 60 minutes. Since they're on the second half of a back-to-back set, we can expect to see Jake Oettinger between the pipes for Dallas.

Oettinger has been a solid goaltender for the Stars, boasting a 0.913 save percentage. Prior to Wednesday, nine of Dallas' last 13 games went under 5.5 total goals.

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Calgary Flames

The Flames enter this matchup following Tuesday night's 3-2 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators. I expect we will see another low-scoring affair since Jacob Markström is the projected starting goaltender.

Markström has been on fire between the pipes of late, allowing two or fewer goals in seven of his last 10 appearances. His recent success should come as no surprise, as Markström has been excellent all season. He carries a 0.923 save percentage and leads the league with nine shutouts.

This season, Markström ranks 10th among starting goaltenders in 5-on-5 goals saved above expected per 60 minutes. The defense in front of him has also been exceptional, as the Flames rank fourth in the league in 5-on-5 xGA per 60 minutes.

Over their last 10 contests, opponents are averaging just 2.8 goals scored per game. While Calgary's offense is a powerhouse, I expect the Dallas defense to hold its own in a massive game for the club in terms of the playoff picture.

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Stars vs. Flames Pick

I expect the public to be on the over in this game due to the last two meetings between these teams. However, I trust both goaltenders and defenses to keep the game low scoring this time around.

We will need a big game from Markström as the Flames will probably score three or four times, but as I mentioned earlier, he has allowed two or fewer goals in seven of his last 10 outings.

Pick: Total Under 5.5 Goals (+100 | Play to -110)

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