Offensive Burnout: Flames-Kings Matchup Likely to Stay 'Under'

flames kings

Dana Lane

Monday, March 26, 2018 2:41 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 26, 2018 2:41 PM UTC

The "under" has gone 23-9-4 in the past 36 games of this series, including 12-4 the past 16 times Calgary has played in Los Angeles. It should be another low-scoring matchup tonight.

Monday NHL: Flames vs. KingsFree NHL Pick: Under 5.5, -125Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The Los Angeles Kings (41-28-7, 89 points, +31 goal differential) are fighting for their playoff lives, trying to qualify as a wild-card team or with the last spot in the Pacific Division with just six games to play. The Calgary Flames (35-31-10, 80 pts, -26) are on the verge of being mathematically eliminated, but as long as they have a small chance they will go back to their strength, which is defense. Puck drops tonight at 10:30 ET.

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On this goal:

- Tanner Pearson doing work to steal the puck
- Tobias Rieder going cross-ice with the pass
- Jeff Carter scoring, per usual 😎

— LA Kings (@LAKings) March 25, 2018

On the NHL odds board the Kings opened as -183 home favorites, a number that obviously doesn’t scare anyone with the number increasing to -190 in most spots. I’m not sure how others feel about bankroll management but it isn’t getting involved in a -190 favorite.

For as much interest as there seems to be in betting the side, there doesn’t seem to be much of a desire to bet the "total," with the number holding firm at 5.5, -125 (under).

These Pacific Division rivals haven’t met since late January, so in no way am I equating the Kings' 2-1 overtime win into my thinking tonight. However, it is interesting to note that the game featured just 58 shots, below average for a typical NHL game. In just one period did either team have double digits in shots. Darcy Kuemper made 30 saves in the win. After watching that game again, it was as defensive of an effort as two teams could present.

Tonight's probable starting goaltenders are Calgary's Mike Smith (24-21-6, .916, 2.66) against Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick (30-27-2, .922, 2.42).

Everyone thinks of the Kings as a physical team, and they are, but if you’ve been watching the Flames there has definitely been a focus on a more physical style of play. Over the last month, Calgary is 12th in total hits (304), 10th in takeaways (100), and first in shots per game (39.07). This tells me they are still engaged, which means they can be counted on when betting the "under." Teams that have given up are hard to bet "under" because their lack of desire leads to too many offensive chances for the opposition.

With your NHL picks, go get some "under" money on what will be a low-scoring, physical game.

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