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High-Octane Flames Offense Has Been an OVER Machine at Home

Calgary Flames Defenceman Travis Hamonic (24) takes a shot from the point during the first period of an NHL game where the Calgary Flames hosted the Edmonton Oilers on April 6, 2019, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB.

The last time the Calgary Flames won 50 games in a season coincided with their lone Stanley Cup triumph 30 years ago, and the No. 1-seeded Flames (50-25-7 in 2018-19) will be hoping history repeats itself this time around. The Flames kick off their postseason at home tonight when they welcome the Colorado Avalanche to town. Sportsbooks opened the Flames as -185 favorites for Game 1 with a total of 6.

Avalanche vs Flames Game Center

Standout Stats

  • This is only Calgary’s third playoff appearance in the past 10 seasons. The Flames took all three games from the Avalanche this year. Colorado has had its issues when playing in Calgary, as the Avs are 0-5 SU in their past five road games vs the Flames with an average losing margin of 2.4 goals.
  • Colorado went on a tear in the form of a 10-game point streak (8-0-2 SU) down the stretch to clinch the second Western Conference wild-card berth. A big reason for the Avs’ postseason appearance is netminder Philipp Grubauer, who recently supplanted Semyon Varlamov as the starter and is 7-0-2 in his last nine starts.
  • Grubauer will be in tough against a Flames offense that has five players with at least 70 points this season – making Calgary the only team in the NHL to achieve that feat. Johnny Gaudreau paced the offense with 99, while linemate Sean Monahan also set career-best totals with 34 goals, 48 assists and 82 points.
  • The Avalanche have been a rock-solid UNDER wager in recent weeks. In Colorado’s past 15 contests, the UNDER is 11-4 with an average combined score of five goals. The Flames have also been a reliable UNDER bet, evidenced by Calgary going below the closing total in eight of its past 11 tilts.
  • Colorado has been covering the puckline at a rapid rate in this spot. The Avalanche are 9-2 on the puckline in their past 11 road games against teams with winning records. Bovada opened the Avs’ +1.5 number with a price of -160.

My best bet for Avalanche-Flames

OVER 6 goals

Despite the aforementioned UNDER trends, I anticipate Game 1 to be relatively high-scoring and expect this game to go OVER the total. Grubauer is playing excellent hockey right now but the Flames are simply a different beast on offense compared to other teams, and Calgary was an OVER machine at the Scotiabank Saddledome this season (25-12-4 OVER/UNDER on home ice). Take the OVER.

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