NHL Predictions: Flyers at Wild Odds and Picks
by George Monroy - 12/2/2013
The Minnesota Wild are hoping that a much-needed two-game homestand will be the cure to the team’s recent struggles. Minnesota has not won a game in over 10 days and is coming off consecutive matchups against a Western Conference power house, the Colorado Avalanche. The Wild just finished an extended road trip where they played five of seven games away from the Xcel Energy Center, and they only managed to earn two victories during that span.
The Philadelphia Flyers may be playing their best hockey of the season as they continue to navigate a rough portion of their schedule that features nine road games during an 11-game stretch. The team has won eight of 11 dating back to early November and is slowly climbing up the standings and inching back into playoff contention. Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s Flyers versus Wild matchup, which is scheduled for an 8 p.m. ET start time, and figure out which side of the wager has the most value to bet on.
Flyers at Wild Betting Story Lines
Minnesota is in its longest losing streak of the season and has managed to score only three regulation goals over its last four games. The team has played steady on the defensive end of the ice and has not allowed more than three goals in a single game during that stretch. The Wild used both Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom during their losing streak, but the real issues have been on offense. Jason Pominville, the team’s leading scorer, has not seen the back of the net in five games, while second-leading scorer Zach Parise has scored only one goal during his last seven games.
The Wild have averaged 25 shot attempts during their last four losses and take nearly 29 shots per game this season, but they are failing to get quality attempts during their most recent slump. The team’s lackluster performances as of late probably have a lot to do with its tough competition. Minnesota has faced the St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, and is coming off a back-to-back against a very good Avalanche squad.
Philadelphia is riding a two-game win streak coming into tonight’s matchup against Minnesota. The Flyers have been solid defensively behind the goaltending of Steve Mason, who has a .934 save percentage on the season and has the team ranked 10th in goals allowed with only 2.4. Ray Emery has been a solid backup and has allowed only 19 goals in eight games worth of action. The nine-year veteran has saved 192 shots this season.
The Flyers are in their second game of a scheduled six-game road trip that will not end until Dec. 11. The team has been led by center Claude Giroux, who has earned five points during his last five games on two goals and three assists. The team, however, has struggled on power-play attempts and is 0-7 during its last two games with a man advantage.
Flyers at Wild NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Minnesota opened as a -145 moneyline favorite over the +132 underdog Flyers at BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with the “under” favored at -115. The puckline opened at -240 for the Flyers taking the 1.5 goals and +200 for the Wild giving up the 1.5 goals. Minnesota is 4-1 over its last five home games versus teams with a losing road record and carries the same record over the last five against the Eastern Conference. The Wild have done well at home and are 10-3 over their last 13 home games, but they are 0-4 when playing on one day of rest.
The Flyers are 8-3 over their last 11 games and 5-2 following a win. The team, however, is only 2-8 during its last 10 Monday games and 1-5 during its last six matchups against teams with a winning record. Head-to-head, Philadelphia has won six of the last eight matchups, while the under has come in during seven of the last 10 meetings.
NHL Predictions: Flyers at Wild Betting Picks
Minnesota was the hottest team in the NHL a few short weeks ago. Now the team is slipping down the Western Conference standings after four straight losses. The Wild have to take solace in the fact that their defense and goaltending are still very good. The Flyers, however, are finally starting to move out of the basement of the Eastern Conference standings and will probably remain motivated to earn a huge win on the road. Philadelphia’s goaltending has been excellent as of late, and while I do think there is value wagering on the streaking road team, the best bet for this matchup is to take the under on five goals. Neither team is an offensive powerhouse, so expect this to be a low-scoring matchup.
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