Free NHL Picks: Flames at Ducks Odds
by George Monroy - 10/15/2013
The Calgary Flames will take a trip to the Honda Center on Wednesday night to face a surging Anaheim Ducks team has won four games in a row after losing its first game of the season. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 17-6 during that stretch and are playing some of the best hockey in the league. The Flames have also played well to begin the year and have scored eight points on three wins and two overtime losses. The team will be entering its matchup with Anaheim on a two-game winning streak and has already built a world of confidence in their rookie sensation Sean Monahan. The sixth overall pick during the 2013 draft has scored in four straight games to start his professional career.
When the Flames visit Anaheim tomorrow, they will open a five-game road trip over the next nine days with a back-to-back right in the middle. The Ducks, on the other hand, will play the third game of a five-game homestand over a 10-day period. Both teams will be well-rested entering the matchup as the Ducks have not played since Sunday and the Flames since last Friday. Let’s take an in-depth look at tonight’s Flames versus Ducks matchup and figure out which side of the game has the most value to wager on.
Flames at Ducks Betting Story Lines
The Flames have won their last two games on the strength of the team’s first-round draft pick, Sean Monahan. The 19-year-old rookie already has six points (four goals and two assists) through five games and scored the game-winner on Friday versus the New Jersey Devils. Calgary has not lost in regulation this season and is in a four-way tie for second place in a tough Pacific Division. The five-game start of earning at least a point is the Flames’ best opening to the season since the team moved to Calgary in 1980. The Flames have played so well to begin the year that they already have six players that have scored four points or more in the first five games. Calgary’s right winger Lee Stempniak had a four-game point streak to start the year but had that snapped during the team’s last win over the Devils.
The Ducks have been on fire since opening the season with a 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The team is coming off a pair of dominant victories over the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators, and they managed to outscore both teams by a 10-1 margin. Anaheim’s goaltender, Jonas Hiller, has been in dominant form during his three starts of the year and has stopped 98 shots in that span. He currently has a .959 save percentage. The team has been receiving offense from every part of its roster and currently has nine players with at least one goal, six players with multiple goals and 18 players with at least one point to start the season.
Anaheim’s biggest strength has been dominating the puck. The team has outshot their opponents by nearly 10 attempts per game and has kept the pressure of Hiller, who has held his own on the shot attempts the team does allow. The one area where the Ducks have struggled at has been on power plays. The team currently ranks last in the entire NHL in power play percentage and only converts on 4.8 percent of its opportunities. Anaheim ranks fifth in goals scored per game at 3.6 and eighth in goals allowed at 2.4.
The Flames have struggled quite a bit on defense over their first five games and are ranked 25th in goals allowed with 3.2 per game. The team has also allowed their opponents nearly as many shot attempts as their own players produce. Calgary averages 31.8 shot attempts per game but gives up 31.0 attempts. The squad’s offensive efficiency has been what has kept the Flames on the winning track over their last few games.
Flames at Ducks NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Ducks opened as a solid -190 moneyline favorite, according to the oddsmakers at Bookmaker. The Flames are a +162 moneyline underdog for Wednesday’s matchup. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “over” being a slight favorite at -120. The “under” is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings in Anaheim between those two teams and 5-2 during the last seven overall meetings. The Flames are 3-8 during the last 11 games against the Ducks and are a horrendous 2-24-3 in the last 29 meetings in Anaheim. The Ducks have been very good at home and have a 20-9 record inside of the Honda Center dating back to last season.
Free NHL Picks: Flames at Ducks Betting Predictions
Wednesday’s Flames versus Ducks game has the potential to be a very good matchup between streaking division opponents. On paper, the Ducks are the better team and have played extremely well to start the year. However, the one area that is concerning is Anaheim’s motivation for this game. The team is in the middle of a five-game homestand and has not left the Honda Center in 10 days. The Flames, on the other hand, are about to embark on an extended road trip and need to stock up as many wins as possible. Tonight’s game is a situation ripe for a Calgary upset as both team’s are have not played since the weekend. But no matter how Anaheim comes into the game, the team’s surging offense should be able dominate the puck and take advantage of the shot-attempt differential between the two teams. Take the Ducks on the moneyline.
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