The Battle of Alberta kicks off tonight between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, with Game 1 from the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Below, you can look at the loan Western Conference matchup on tonight’s NHL slate and at some of our best bets on the FanDuel Sportsbook.Edmonton Oilers (+132) vs Calgary Flames (-160) Total: 6.5 (O-102/U-120)
This series has the makings of a classic one between two teams that have generated one of the best rivalries in hockey. The Oilers typically like to play a style of hockey that has pace to it, while the Flames don’t mind grinding their ways to victories down-low with one of the best forechecks in hockey.
The Flames are deeper than they get credit for and should be able to show that during this series against an Oilers backend that doesn’t exactly put fear into opponents. That doesn’t even factor in their aging goalie in Mike Smith, who does deserve credit for his solid play in Round 1 against Los Angeles, but it’s fair to say he’s still a question mark in terms of durability. The Flames have a significant advantage in goal with Jacob Markstrom and that could be what makes the difference in this series. Markstrom was very good in Round 1 against Dallas and gave Calgary a chance to win the series.
During the regular season, there were some interesting trends when these teams collided. Of their four meetings, none were decided by one goal, which is why we wouldn’t be surprised by a Game 1 victory by multiple goals.
Looking at the total tonight, there’s another trend from the regular season to consider, as three-of-four matchups saw seven or more goals scored with the clubs scoring 33 goals combined. With that in mind, we should look for lots of goals to be scored tonight and for the 0ver 6.5 to hit at -102.
Best Bets: Flames puckline -1.5 (+158), Over 6.5 (-102)