Flames at Predators Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 3/21/2013
This is not a battle of NHL titans. In fact, these are two pretty lousy teams. The Flames are second to last in the Western Conference with 26 points in 27 games. Nashville is two points better, but it has taken them three more games to get there, so they aren’t better off. Things aren’t yet dire for the two teams, but they are awfully close. It takes 30 points to be in a playoff spot right now, but there are five teams between the Flames and the playoffs. If these teams don’t start to figure out how to play soon, then they’ll run out of time and fall short even with a late-season run.
Thanks to this bizarre schedule this year we have yet another quirk in this game These teams are playing less than a week after they last met in Calgary. The Flames cruised to a 6-3 win in that one. It was Nashville’s second road game in two nights while the Flames were rested and comfortable at home, so what happened then probably doesn’t tell us much about what will happen here.
Flames at Predators Betting storylines
Nashville will be very happy to be home for this one. They are coming off a five-game road trip, and they have played eight of their last 10 away from the heart of country music. They lost the last four and seven of those eight — they have actually lost 10 of 11 on the road — so they clearly do not travel well. Luckily for them, they play 12 of their last 18 at home, and they are a very solid 6-2-4 there. There is some hope for the future.
Calgary is just as bad on the road. Their 3-7-2 road record is disastrous, and they still have half of their road games left to play. They have dropped seven in a row away from home, so they haven’t won in more than a month on the road. They aren’t a great team at home, but are significantly worse on the road. When you hear them talk about it, it’s clear that their troubles are in their head, too. That means they aren’t likely to go away soon.
The Flames are almost overwhelmed by distractions. One they won’t face, though, is in net. Miikka Kiprusoff missed the last game as he was awaiting the birth of his second child. Mother and child are fine, so he’s back with the team. He hasn’t been strong since returning from injury, but with the distractions at home out of the way he could be back on track. With that resolved the Flames are still dealing with the likelihood that they will be a major seller at the trade deadline. Jarome Iginla doesn’t have a contract beyond this year, and he isn’t negotiating with the team. He hasn’t waived his no-trade clause, but his departure seems all but inevitable — and it’s all the media cares about around the team. Jay Bouwmeester is likely on the move as well. Kiprusoff could be gone, too. If they don’t figure out a way to win on the road soon then the team will have no choice but to blow things up and rebuild. That adds even more pressure on this game than normal.
Nashville has issues in net as well with Pekka Rinne. In his last four starts he has been pulled twice and lost the other two. His goals against average over that stretch is 5.22. He’s an exceptional goalie, so this rough spot is far from the norm. At home he has been spectacular this year, though — 6-2-4 with a 1.54 GAA — so it’s a good bet that he’ll bounce back reasonably well in this one if given a chance.
Flames at Predators NHL Odds and Betting Trends
The Flames have gone “over” in their last four against the Central Division and their last four against teams with a losing record. The over is 4-0-1 in Nashville’s last five against teams with losing records. The home team is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these teams, with the under going 7-2-2 in the last 11 games.
Flames at Predators Picks and Betting Predictions
Nashville’s goaltending has been questionable, and they have two key injuries on defense. The Flames have lacked discipline on defense on the road, and Kiprusoff hasn’t been solid. Nashville has averaged three goals a game over their last four despite losing. Calgary is averaging 4.7 in their last three. Add it all together and put it up beside the low total of 5, and the over seems like a very attractive play.
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