The Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars are locked in a defensive struggle through the opening games of their first-round series. With each team already posting a shutout, this has been a difficult series for bettors to navigate. This betting guide will offer some value picks and a couple of playable props for what has been the lowest-scoring season of the first round so far.
Calgary Flames (-160) vs Dallas Stars (+135)
The Flames came into this series as heavy favorites, but the Stars have shown that this might be the most balanced series of the first round. Nobody can get any offense going, and this is a series that features six players that scored at least 35 goals in the regular season. Dallas wasn’t very good on the road this season (19-20-2) but survived to steal a game in Calgary. The Stars were one of the best home teams (27-10-4) in the Western Conference, and that gives the moneyline for Dallas (+135) some value in a series that looks like a toss-up.
There have only been three goals scored in the first two games combined, and the odds are starting to adjust for it. The way Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger and Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom have been playing, it’s tough to see that trend changing. The under (U5.5, -130) is the play, but you’re going to have to lock in that number early because the odds are starting to get less forgiving.
Calgary to Score First (-145)
The Flames haven’t scored in their last five periods, and now they’re heading on the road. The odds for them to score first in Game 3 (-145) aren’t the most favorable, but the signs point to this being a good spot for it. Playing on the road this season, Calgary put up 53 first-period goals. The first period was Dallas’ worst at home, as the Stars scored just 34 of their 130 home goals in the opening stanza.
Before Joe Pavelski’s first-period goal in Game 2, the Stars hadn’t scored first in seven of their previous eight games. Calgary scored first in their final five games of the regular season and scored first in its Game 1 victory. Goals may be hard to come by in this series, and even though it’s on the road, the trends point to the Flames having a great chance to get on the board first in this pivotal Game 3.
Neither Team to Score 3 Goals (+270)
Prop bets like this are risky plays, but this one looks to have some value entering Game 3, considering neither team has scored three goals through the first two games combined. Each goaltender looks great, and both have given up just one goal (Dallas’ second tally in Game 2 was an empty-netter). The scoring should pick up a bit sooner or later, but this is a good number to consider (+270) if it remains low-scoring.
Empty-netters can through a wrench into this play, especially in the postseason when goalies get yanked with five minutes to play in two-goal games, but that’s the risk. Will these teams keep playing extremely low-scoring games? Probably not, but it’s starting to look like they could. Getting close to 3-to-1 odds is good value in a series that has already seen a pair of shutouts.
Odds via FanDuel and BetMGM
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