One of the major surprises out of the NHL Playoffs has been the lackluster performance of the Calgary Flames. Currently trailing 2-1 in their first-round series against the Dallas Stars, the Flames are hoping to pick up a win in Game 4 before returning home for Game 5. The physicality has been out of this world in this series and tensions have boiled over in every single game. We’re looking for much of the same in Game 4. We’re back with our NHL odds series with a Flames-Stars prediction and pick for Monday night’s showdown.
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Here are the Flames-Stars NHL Odds, Courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Flames-Stars Odds
Calgary Flames: -1.5 (+168) (-160 ML)
Dallas Stars: +1.5 (-205) (+132 ML)
Over: 5.5 (+104)
Under: 5.5 (-128)
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Why The Flames Can Cover The Spread / Win
On paper, the Flames are a much better team than the Stars. In fact, heading into the playoffs, there were many who had considered the Flames to be favorites to win the Stanley Cup. That team has seemingly disappeared, as they’ve had little to no production from the offense through the first three games of the series. When at their best, Calgary has both a lethal offense and a smothering defense. Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk both recorded 100+ points, making them the only duo in the league to achieve that apart from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Both have struggled in the series, but if they can turn things around in Game 4, it’ll go a long way towards the Flames picking up a victory in the must-win Game 4.
Defensively the Flames have been sound, surrendering just six goals through the first three games. Still, with little production from the offense, Calgary’s defense may need to play even better if they’re to find a win against the Stars. Rasmus Andersson has been getting ripped apart by the vicious hitters on Dallas, but he’ll look to overcome their physicality and make a big impact on Monday night.
Why The Stars Can Cover The Spread / Win
Dallas’ domination of this series has been quite a surprise. While it’s 2-1 on the scoreboard, many had expected the Stars to be facing an early and swift exit in the NHL Playoffs. Quite the opposite has occurred, as the Stars have played with remarkable physicality, constantly pinning Flames players up against the board and leveling them with big hits. Fights have been a constant in this series, and it seems to be working in Dallas’ favor. Last game, the Stars out-hit the Flames 44-23. They have recorded over 35 hits in each of the past two games and will look to continue their tough style of play on Monday night.
The offense has yet to truly get going, despite the four-goal outing in Game 3. Joe Pavelski had a two-goal game last time out and will look to pick up where he left off, while the Stars will also look for improved production out of Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz. Jake Oettinger has been electric in the playoffs for Dallas, helping to keep Calgary at bay throughout the series. If he can keep protecting the net at a high level, Dallas will be able to win another game at home and put the Flames into a tough position at 3-1 in the series.
Final Stars-Flames Prediction and Pick
This is a series that has been incredibly hard to predict. The Flames seemed ready to cruise to an easy win heading into the playoffs, but that’s been far from the case in this series. The stakes are raised for Calgary as they look to avoid a 3-1 deficit, so we’re going to back the Flames to get the job done in Dallas. Gaudreau, Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm will need to take matters into their own hands and find a way to beat Oettinger in net and propel the Flames to a win, and we’re expecting them to turn things around and do just that. -160 is a bit to juiced for my liking, so I’m going to gamble with a smaller bet on the Flames to cover at -1.5.
Final Stars-Flames Pick: Flames -1.5 (+168)