NHL Betting: Stars vs Flames First Round Game 1 – 05/03/2022

The Calgary Flames are back in the playoffs after missing last season and are looking to get past the first round for the first time since 2015. Calgary’s opponent is the scrappy Dallas Stars, who made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final just two seasons ago. This betting guide will deliver some value picks for betting on the first game of the series, as well as some favorable picks for betting on the overall series.

Game 1 Moneyline and Over/Under

DAL: 46-30-6, 2.84 GF/GP, 2.98 GA/GP, L10: 5-3-2

CGY: 50-21-11, 3.55 GF/GP, 2.51 GA/GP, L10: 6-2-2

The Flames are a big favorite to win the series, and there are some high expectations for the Pacific Division champs. Calgary went 2-0-1 in the three games against Dallas, and all the games were close. Dallas was just 19-20-2 away from home this season, making them this season’s only playoff team with a losing record on the road. Calgary’s moneyline (-225) is a bit steep, but the Flames puck line (-1.5, +120) has some value. The Stars lost their last three road games of the regular season by a combined score of 15-6, including a 4-2 loss at the Flames on April 21.

Matthew Tkachuk Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It’s a little surprising that the Over/Under number opened at 5.5 considering every game between these two teams cleared that number this season. Dallas has a reputation for being in low-scoring games, but four of the Stars’ last six games have had six goals or more. The Flames scored the fourth-most goals at home this season, and every game between the two has been pretty wide open. Stick with the over here (O5.5, -125).

Game 1 Props

Both Teams to Score in First Period (+195)

Neither of these teams made the playoffs last season, and both have been wringing their hands to get back. The Flames have been one of the hottest starting teams in the NHL all season, and Dallas has had great starts against Calgary for years. That puts a lot of value in betting on both teams to score in the opening period (+195).

Calgary was third in the NHL with 93 first-period goals, and Dallas scored in the first period of every game against the Flames this season. The Stars have scored a first-period goal in 10 of their last 11 games against Calgary. Things tend to tighten up a bit in the playoffs, but the history of first-period scoring between these two teams is too hard to ignore. Getting nearly 2-to-1 odds with those kinds of trends points to great value.

Series Betting

The Flames won the season series, taking two of the three games. However, all these games were tight. The lone win for the Stars came in overtime, and the only game decided by more than a goal was due to an empty-netter in that Calgary win on April 21. The Flames are the better team here, but this doesn’t look like it’s going to be an easy first-round opponent for them.

Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Calgary is a heavy favorite to win the series (-315), and there isn’t much value in that number. However, betting the series to go five games (+225) or six games (+220) definitely looks like the long-term play here. Their regular-season matchups were too close to show that Dallas likely won’t get swept, and the Stars have also been very good at home. That points to Calgary giving up at least a game or two, making the best option for series betting on the number of games.

Odds via FanDuel and BetMGM

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