NHL Picks: Flames vs. Blackhawks NHL Odds Preview

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, November 3, 2013 4:06 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 4:06 PM UTC

The Chicago Blackhawks entertain the Calgary Flames at the United Center on Sunday with faceoff scheduled for 7:35 PM ET.

NHL Preview

Sunday 11/3/2013

Calgary Flames (5-8) @ Chicago Blackhawks (9-5) 7:35 PM ET 

According to NHL betting odds Chicago is a -245 money line home favorite with a posted total of 5.5. These two clubs have seen their last 4 meetings go under the total. Chicago is 16-5 in their last 21 home games versus Calgary, and 20-7 in the 27 overall versus the Flames. 

High Scoring and Entertaining

If you are looking for some entertaining high scoring hockey then viewing a Calgary Flames game this season is your ticket. The Flames have gone over the total in their last 5-games with an average combined total of 6.4 goals per game scored. The Flames are 11th in the NHL in scoring offense at 3.0 goals per game, and 29th in scoring defense allowing 3.5 goals per game. Goaltending has been an ongoing problem since the onset of the season. In 7 starts Joey MacDonald has posted a lofty 3.16 GAA and in 6 starts Karri Ramo has been even worse at 3.49. Both goalies have posted a save percentage of less than .890 which is poor by NHL standards. Center Jiri Hudler is off to a terrific start to the season with 15-points in the first 13-games. Tonight will mark the first game of a 4-game in 6-day road trip for the Flames. Calgary has started the year 2-5 on the road.

Sunday, SBR has some great NHL Free Picks for our readers.

Flames Recent Trends

  • The Flames have gone 14-38 in their last 52 road games.
  • The Flames are a dismal 1-8 in their last 9-games versus a Western Conference opponent.
  • The Flames have gone a terrible 1-7 in their last 8-games versus an opponent with a winning record.
  • The Flames are a profitable 5-1 in their last 6-games played on a Sunday.
  • The Flames have gone under the total in just 2 of their last 14-games played on a Sunday.

Hawks Offense in High Gear 

The Chicago Blackhawks scoring depth has been evident in the early part of the season. Chicago is currently 3rd in the NHL averaging 3.4 goals per game, and 2nd overall averaging 33.9 shots on goal per contest. The Hawks have 9 players who have totaled 8-points or more in their first 14-games. One area in which they desperately need to improve is on their penalty killing. Opponents are converting a very high 26.8% of their power play chances versus the Hawks. Corey Crawford is off to a solid start to the season going 8-4 with a 2.12 GAA and a .920 save percentage. The Hawks enter tonight having won 3 in a row and scored 5-goals or more in each of those affairs. Starting with tonight Chicago will play 4 of their next 5-games at home. 

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Recent Blackhawks Trends

  • Chicago has gone a terrific 41-12 in their last 53-games versus an opponent with a less than .400 win percentage.
  • Chicago has gone 47-19 in their last 66 home games.
  • Chicago is 50-20 in their last 70-games when playing with no rest.
  • Chicago has gone over the total in their last 5-games overall. 

Final Analysis 

Both of these teams have played on the high side in recent games. Neither club has shied away from playing a wide open type of game. The Flames goaltending woes will certainly be exposed tonight. I look for Calgary to capitalize on their power play chances tonight versus a Chicago team which has struggled while playing short-handed this season. My lean here is toward a high scoring game. 

Free Pick: Calgary/Chicago to go over the total.

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