The Calgary Flames were ousted as the first seed in the Western Conference playoffs last spring by the Colorado Avalanche in first round. The Flames hope to avenge that upset and kick the new campaign off with a road win.
Flames vs. Avalanche Betting Analysis
Calgary’s 50 regular season wins last year was the best in the Western Conference and second only to Tampa Bay’s win total. The Flames finished with 107 points in 2018-19. Sports Interaction lists the club’s point over/under line at 98.5 this season.
Oddsmakers don’t see much difference between the Flames and Avs. Colorado’s season point total sits at 97.5 at the online sportsbook. Calgary won all three regular season matchups against the Avs a year ago. It also won the first game of the two clubs’ first round playoff series.
Of course, things didn’t proceed as planned. The Avalanche followed suit of fellow No. 8-seed Columbus and bounced their heavily favoured opponent from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
This time around, the books see the Avs as more likely team to win the West. Sports Interaction lists Colorado at +500 to win the Western Conference compared to Calgary at +900. Only the Vegas Golden Knights have shorter odds to win the West than the Avs.
Team futures aren’t the only season props on the board. There are betting markets for all the major individual honours including Art Ross, Hart, and Norris trophies. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon at +1000 is the third top favourite to win the Art Ross Trophy behind Connor McDavid (+250) and Nikita Kucherov (+300).
Not much has changed in Calgary one year removed from the Flames first round flop. The squad flipped former 40-goal scorer James Neal to the Edmonton Oilers for fellow reclamation project Milan Lucic.
Coach Bill Peters hopes Lucic can solve Calgary’s lack of offensive punch from the third and fourth lines. He’ll also hope Lucic doesn’t take too many dumb penalties. The Flames lead the NHL in shorthanded goals but they finished just 19th in penalty killing.
The top forward line in hockey resides in Denver. The Avalanche’s trio of Nathan MacKinnon-Gabriel Landeskog-Mikko Rantanen combined for 261 points last season. General Manager Joe Sakic traded for Nazem Kadri to fill the role of second line centre. That should bring more balance to the top six forward group.