The Calgary Flames (32-14-7) enter the gauntlet to face the Colorado Avalanche (40-11-4) Saturday at Ball Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET (ESPN+). Below, we look at the Flames vs. Avalanche odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
This figures to be one of the best games of the day. Calgary is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games and boasts the second-best defense in the NHL (2.5 goals allowed per game). The Avs feature the second-best offense in the league (3.9 goals per game) and are 7-3-0 in their last 10. Both teams figure to roll with their starting goalies. Something has to give in this battle of division leaders.
Flames at Avalanche odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 9:50 a.m. ET.
Money line: Flames +122 (bet $100 to win $122) | Avalanche -150 (bet $150 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Flames +1.5 (-205) | Avalanche -1.5 (+155)
Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
Flames at Avalanche projected goalies
Jacob Markstrom (25-11-6, 2.17 GAA, .925 SV%, 8 SO) vs. Darcy Kuemper (27-6-2, 2.47 GAA, .919 SV%, 3 SO)
The league leader in shutouts will want to have a short memory as Markstrom was pedestrian in a 5-4 overtime loss to Montreal Thursday. He stopped 30 of the 35 shots he faced.
Markstrom hadn’t allowed more than 3 goals in any of his 12 previous starts. He’ll be looking to rebound in this game, and he must be a brick wall in order for the Flames to have a chance.
Kuemper has been susceptible to giving up some action lately as he has allowed 13 goals across his last four starts. The team is so good around him, though, one has to wonder if he has taken the foot off the gas a bit. He’ll need a full tank in this one as Calgary’s defense is legit.
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Flames at Avalanche odds, lines, picks and predictions
Avalanche 2, Flames 1
Slight lean to the AVALANCHE (-150) here.
This figures to be a low-scoring pick ’em, and the Avs are 23-3-2 at home this year. It’s only a slight lean because the Flames could steal this one if it gets to overtime, but they just don’t have enough on offense and could get worn down defensively late in the game.
Against the spread
We’re going to PASS on the spread here.
If I were forced to choose one, I’d lean Flames +1.5 (-205), but I’m not dropping -205 on anything in the regular season.
The UNDER 6.5 (-112) is the best bet on the board here.
You look at that total and instantly want to go throw down on it. The Avs have been scored on early and had to claw back into games the last couple of weeks. So they’re not clicking on all cylinders.
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