These games feature two heavyweight and highly favorited teams against some clear underdogs. With there not being much value in the moneylines because of the nature of the teams being on opposite ends of the standings, betting on the point spread is a good way to make up some of the value.
Point Spread (-2.5 goals): Calgary Flames (+115) vs Arizona Coyotes (-135)
The Flames are coming off a tough loss to the San Jose Sharks where they were leading 3-2 heading into the third period and lost the game 4-3. Despite playing well up until that point, giving up points against lesser teams is a tough pill to swallow.
The Flames are 19-6-6 at home compared to Arizona’s 11-17-3 away record. Arizona is also on a three-game losing streak, and with the Flames looking for a strong bounce-back, will be in for a tough battle. Matthew Tkachuk is coming off back-to-back multi-point games and should continue to roll while on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm. The way the Flames are scoring lately and how deep their lineup is should make you feel better about them having to win by three goals to cover the spread.
Jacob Markstrom came down to earth in his last start with a 4.13 goals-against average and an .895 save percentage and has dropped his last two starts. That said, playing against a team as low in the standings as the Coyotes could be a good reason to sit Markstrom and provide him rest as the Flames prep for a playoff run. Backup goaltender Dan Vladar is more than capable of handling the workload in net against the Coyotes, so whichever goalie starts should be a fine option.
Point Spread (-2.5 goals): Colorado Avalanche (+110) vs Philadelphia Flyers (-135)
The Avalanche are in a similar situation as the Flames, coming off a tight loss to a team below them in the standings. The Avalanche dropped their previous game 3-2 to a desperate Vancouver Canucks team on home ice and will be looking for a much better result in this matchup. This is the final game of a three-game homestand for the Avs and they will get a Flyers team who will be getting in late from their game in St. Louis the night before.
The Flyers are 8-17-5 on the road and coming off a victory against the St. Louis Blues who are second in the Central Division. Without stating the obvious, Nathan MacKinnon is carrying a bigger offensive load with captain Gabriel Landeskog on the shelf and has delivered with nine points on his current five-game point streak.
The goaltending has been solid for the Avalanche and you should feel confident in them getting the win even if Pavel Francouz gets the nod. With late travel involved and the back-to-back situation for the Flyers, the Avalanche are looking to right the ship coming off a loss. Although the spread is bigger at -2.5 goals, meaning the Avalanche have to win by three or more, there is still good reason to take the Avalanche to cover the spread and get back in the win column.
Odds via BetMGM and Yahoo