NHL Odds: Goals Expected At Premium In Defensive Avalanche-Wild Clash

Colorado's struggling offense will need to gain traction


October 30, 2021

It’s Saturday — the busiest day in the NHL schedule.

Although it’s quieter than your typical weekend kick-off with only 10 games scheduled, the puck drops on a couple of afternoon contests, and the other eight games start at 7 p.m. ET or later. The low-scoring trend continued last night, with four of the six games staying under, making it 11 of the past 14 (78.6%) over the past two days.

We’ve outlined some of our favorite wagers from FanDuel Sportsbook in Saturday’s NHL Betting Guide.

Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche
Wild +136 | Avalanche -164
Spread: Wild +1.5 (-192) | Avalanche -1.5 (+154)
Total: 6 Over +100 | Under -122

News, Analysis and Picks
Two Central Division contenders face-off in Denver tonight when the Wild invade Ball Area to take on the Avalanche. The Avs are off to a slow start this season, and they’ll have to find a way to break through the Wild’s defensive wall if they hope to climb back to .500.

The Avs earned a reputation for being a dominant offensive team, which continued into the 2021-22 season. However, their impressive defensive structure continues to be overlooked. Colorado has allowed nine or fewer high-danger chances at five-on-five in six of their seven games this season. They limited the St. Louis Blues to zero quality chances in their previous outing, dropping their season average to 6.1 opportunities a game.

That defensive brand of hockey resonates with the Wild, as they have allowed seven or fewer high-danger chances in five of seven games this season. On average, opponents are attempting 6.7 high-danger opportunities per game, making it hard for the Avs’ struggling offense to gain any traction.

We’re not expecting either team to pull away in what’s anticipated to be a tight-checking hockey game. We’re betting this one gets sorted out in extra time.

The Pick: Regulation Tie +330

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Calgary Flames
Flyers +125 | Flames -150
Spread: Flyers +1.5 (-205) | Flames -1.5 (+164)
Total: 6 Over -114 | Under -106

News, Analysis, and Picks
After a successful five-game Eastern Conference road trip, the Flames return home for a contest against the Flyers.

The Flames are in a delicate spot. They are returning to their friendly confines after an extended trip to the Eastern part of the country. Historically, this has played as a flat spot for Western Conference teams as they sink into their amenities and get back on regular schedules. That could be compounded by some indicators that have the Flames pointed toward regression.

Calgary is operating above expected values this season, posting an expected goals-for percentage of 51.4% while skating around with an actual percentage of 62.5%. The Flames posted an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% at five-on-five in four of their past five games but walked away victorious in every game. Their overachievements are also reflected in their PDO, which sits at 1.034, the seventh-best in the league. The Flames outcomes will balance with their metrics over the coming days, and they are due for a few more losses.

The Flyers are in a similar boat to the Flames and are overachieving relative to their production metrics. However, the Flyers’ game-by-game metrics have been less volatile than the Flames. In three of six, Philly has posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0%, getting out-chanced in high-danger chances in just two of those games. The Flyers have been let down by two bad performances, making their expected goals-for percentage look worse.

This is a letdown spot for the Flames, which the Flyers can exploit. At +125 or better, we’re betting the Flyers head home with three straight victories.

The Pick: Under 5.5 -118

All NHL predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.

Thumbnail photo via Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images

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