NHL Playoffs Game 7 Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Flames (May 15)
Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Johnny Gaudreau
- The Flames host the Stars in Game 7 on Sunday night.
- With unders hitting frequently in Game 7s, is there value in a contrarian play here?
- Michael Leboff breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Stars vs. Flames Game 7 Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
Scoring has been up across the NHL all season long, and it didn’t slow down in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That is, until the Game 7s started. There were three Game 7s on Saturday, and all three of them went under. As Stuckey notes here, this is not unusual. Typically, Game 7s are tightly checked, and referees swallow their whistles.
So it would make sense that the over/under for Game 7 between the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars be just the third NHL game since opening night to close with an over/under of five goals. Let’s discuss how to bet this winner-take-all matchup.
Can the Dallas Stars Keep Calgary’s Forwards in Check?
While every other series has featured plenty of blowouts and crooked numbers, Calgary vs. Dallas has been a throwback. The two teams have combined for just 24 total goals through six games, and only 13 of those tallies have come at 5-on-5.
Calgary and Dallas have played superlative defense through the first six games, but there’s no question that goaltending has been the story of this matchup so far.
Jake Oettinger, who has posted a .954 save percentage and a +7.3 Goals Saved Above Expected in six games, is likely the MVP of Round 1 across the entire tournament, but Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom is not far behind the 23-year-old netminder. Markstrom has skated to a .945 save percentage and a +4.1 GSAx, which is almost always good enough to win a team a series going away. Just not this one.
So in an already tight matchup, you could see why bookmakers are not concerned about setting an outlier over/under for a Game 7. The under will get betting support in this series no matter where it closes.
But, as is often the case in betting — when everyone zigs, there will be value on zagging.
While Dallas has done a good job bottling up Calgary’s deep forward group for the most part, it’s not all that unlikely that this game opens up a little bit, and perhaps the goaltenders cool off.
Calgary Flames Have the Last Change Advantage
Calgary will have the benefit of last change at home, and that means that Darryl Sutter can get his top line of Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm away from Dallas’ best checking lines. That, alone, should give the Flames offense a much needed boost.
And any added offense from the Flames should start to unlock the Stars’ structure. In fact, any early goal should get this game off script, and all of a sudden we should start to see more scoring chances at both ends.
This is a do-or-die game, so neither team will be content just keeping it tight and hoping for a mistake, as we’ve seen them do throughout some of the other contests in this set.
Stars vs. Flames Pick
With the under juiced to an unplayable number, and both offenses due for some positive regression, the best way to find value on Game 7 between the Stars and Flames is to swim against the current and find some derivative bets (alternate totals, team totals or alternate spread) that are correlated to this game being wide open.
They may not win, but the value is there for the savvy bettors to find.
Pick: Calgary -1.5 (+125); Over 7 Goals (+380)