Underdog Betting Value in Canucks vs. Flames NHL Picks

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 11:57 AM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 11:57 AM GMT

Inspect the NHL betting odds for tonight’s season opener between the Vancouver Canucks & Calgary Flames. This information-packed handicapping article includes a NHL free pick against the money line.

A New Season for Optimism
It’s the opening night of the NHL regular season on Wednesday, and one of the 4-games on the slate will see the Flames host the Canucks at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The opening puck drop is set for 10:05 PM ET, and both teams will be looking to get off to a positive start to the season, after enduring disappointing 2013-2014 campaigns. According to NHL betting odds, the Canucks are a -110 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. The Canucks have gone 9-1 versus the Flames during the past 3-seasons.

 

The Ryan Miller Saga Continues
Ryan Miller began last season as head since 2005, as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. However, his tenure in Buffalo came to an end at last season’s trade deadline when he was sent to the St. Louis Blues. The Blues acquired the veteran goaltender thinking he was the missing link in their quest to win the Stanley Cup. However, things didn’t go as planned, and they were eliminated in the first round of playoffs by Chicago in 6-games. The Blues opted not to resign Miller, who became a restricted free agent in the offseason. The Vancouver Canucks were quick to jump in, and are hoping it can stabilize a position that was very erratic a season ago. Miller has a career 2.59 GAA and a .915 save percentage. He also has a .602 winning percentage in 489 career starts.

 

Building off a Strong Finish
The Calgary Flames young team really blossomed just before last season’s Olympic break. They were far from a playoff team, but they were able to show dramatic improvement. Starting with their home win over the Arizona Coyotes on 1/22/14, the Flames finished the season by going 19-13 in their last 32-games. Considering they started the season by losing 34 of their first 50-games, the finish was certainly something to build off heading into this season.

 

Final Analysis
I’m of the opinion that Ryan Miller’s better days are behind him, and he’ll find himself under an enormous amount of scrutiny playing in Vancouver, more so than any other time in his illustrious career. The Canucks finished last season by losing 16 of their final 21 road games. They’re an aging team, and quite frankly one that lacks a lot of heart. I like the direction the Flames were heading in at the end of last season. I’m not willing to concede a futures NHL pick to them being a playoff team just yet, but I do like their chances in their home opener.

Free NHL Pick: Flames +100 over the Canucks at 5Dimes

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