Free NHL Picks: Coyotes at Flames Odds
by George Monroy - 12/3/2013
The Phoenix Coyotes are about to begin an extended road trip, having lost four of their last five games, and they are in danger of slipping further down the Western Conference Playoff standings. As little as a month ago, Phoenix had won seven of eight and was one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Now, entering the month of December, the team is in the middle of a tight battle for the eighth seed in the West and will be forced to play of nine of its next 12 games outside of Jobing.com Arena
The Calgary Flames have been sitting firmly near the bottom of the Western Conference standings since the beginning of the season. And, unfortunately for the team, a recent 3-3 stretch is probably the best hockey Phoenix has played all year. This group will get a chance to start building a winning streak on Wednesday night when it returns to Phoenix for a two-game homestand. Let’s take a closer look at the Coyotes versus Flames matchup with predictions and analysis.
Coyotes at Flames Betting Story Lines
The Coyotes are trying the weather the worst stretch of hockey they have played all season. The team is 2-5 over its last seven matchups dating back to mid-November, and it must also contend with a road-heavy schedule that has only given Phoenix three home games in a 30-day span. The Coyotes are 6-7 on the road, and after Saturday’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks they will have to play four straight games away from their home arena.
Phoenix will be on the second night of a back-to-back when they face the Flames on Wednesday night after having played the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. The Coyotes last loss was an embarrassing three-goal blowout to the Blackhawks where they were unable to muster any form of offense after taking 34 shots. The Flames even had five power-play opportunities, but they were unable to put them to good use after they fell behind by three goals early in the game.
Calgary is coming off a big win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday and has a chance to win consecutive games for only the second time this season. The last time the team won back-to-back games was on Oct. 9 and 11 against the Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils. The Flames will also be starting a favorable stretch in their schedule and will play four of their next five games at home—if there was ever a chance for the team to start moving up in the standings, now would be the time.
The Flames took only 22 shots in their win against Los Angeles, and they average 27 per game. Eight of the team’s nine victories this season have been by only one goal. If Calgary plans on taking advantage of their schedule over the next few games, they will need leading scorer Mike Cammalleri to step up his production. Cammalleri has scored only one goal in his last five games—which is his longest drought of the season.
Coyotes at Flames NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Phoenix opened as a -142 moneyline favorite over the +129 underdog Flames, according to BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “over” being slightly favored at -110. The Coyotes are 4-1 on the second night of a back-to-back and are 6-2 over their last eight games versus teams with a losing record. The team, however, has struggled recently and has a 1-4 record over its last five overall games and a 1-5 record against the Western Conference over its last six matchups.
The Flames are 0-4 during their last four Wednesday games and are a horrendous 1-7 over their last eight home games. The team has gone “under” in six of its last seven Wednesday games. Head-to-head, the over is 3-0-2 in the last five games in Calgary, while the home team is 5-0 during the last five matchups.
Free NHL Picks: Coyotes at Flames Predictions
Home underdogs are always a tempting play to wager on, especially when the favorite is entering the matchup in a slump. The Flames are showing value at +129 and are coming off a huge road win against the Kings, and if a bettor felt the need to put money on the underdog, I would completely understand. However, this matchup is one of those situations where bettors should not try and over think things. The Coyotes are the better team, have more to play for, and will simply win this game the majority of the time. Take Phoenix on the moneyline, and expect the team to end its slump.
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