The Calgary Flames are seeking a season-best four wins in five games when they host the Vancouver Canucks tonight.
Meanwhile, Vancouver is trending in the opposite direction, having dropped five of their last eight — a spiral that started against these same Flames. It’s part of the reason Vancouver is a +105 underdog in the NHL odds.
See below for my free NHL picks to see if Calgary can stay hot in this Pacific Division battle.
Canucks vs Flames odds
Canucks vs Flames predictions
They’ve needed to put in extra work, but a pair of back-to-back overtime wins have pushed the Calgary Flames to 10 wins on the year.
A spike in offensive production has been a help, as the Flames are averaging 3.5 goals per game during this four-game run — a bump from their 2.96 goals per contest — which ranks 22nd in the league.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks' league-leading offense has hit a skid, putting up just 2.2 goals across their last five losses. This power outage has pushed them down to second in goals this season at 3.83.
Thatcher Demko is scheduled back in the pipes. He's 11-6 on the year, tied for second in wins and has a 2.29 GAA, a Top 5 mark.
Despite their struggles, the Canucks have been mostly frontrunners, with the Vegas loss the first time in eight games they haven’t scored the first goal. And that’s where the best bet lies.
The Flames have given up the opening goal in five straight, and 11 of their last 13. Even in their last head-to-head, Elias Pettersson potted the first goal for Vancouver before the Flames ripped off four straight tallies to put that game out of reach.
With the better goaltender in net and a better offense, take the Canucks to record the first tally.
My best bet: Canucks to score first in the first period (+125 at SIA)
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Canucks vs Flames same-game parlay
My best bet isn’t available for the SGP, so I'll take the Canucks to score first. Both Vancouver and Calgary games have a lot of first period action.
The Flames have allowed the fifth-most first-period goals at 29, just one off a five-way tie for most goals allowed in the opening frame. Meanwhile, the Canucks have potted 25 first-period goals, which ranks seventh in the NHL.
However, a look into the past 10 games shows there’s a reason to take the Under on a generous first-period 2.5-goal total offered by SIA. There have been three goals or more in the first 20 minutes of Vancouver's games just once in the last 10 games, and Calgary’s outings have gone Under 2.5 first-period goals in six of the last 10.
I’ll close this out with J.T. Miller getting back on track. The Vancouver forward — who’s second on the team in goals behind NHL leader Brock Boeser — hasn’t scored in four games. The 30-year-old center has been remarkably consistent this year, and this stretch marks the longest goal drought of the season, his previous long being just two games between goals.
That has me leaning toward Miller breaking that skid. It’s helpful Vancouver ranks fourth on the power play, giving him more potential chances to score.
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Canucks vs Flames moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Flames moneyline has been as short as -133 odds, while the Canucks started out as short of -110 but have gradually climbed as long as +112. Vancouver is just 7-6-0 away from Rogers Arena, while the Flames are 5-3-0-1 at home.
The total has stayed north of six goals, with most books keeping the line at 6.5 goals. On the year, The Canucks' Over/Under record is 14-8, but they've gone Under in four of their last six games. Calgary’s O/U record is 13-8, including a 5-2-1 record in its last eight.
Canucks vs Flames betting trend to know
The Flames have won each of their last six home games against Pacific Division opponents. Find more NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Flames.
Canucks vs Flames game info
|Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB
|Saturday, December 2, 2023
|10:00 p.m. ET
Canucks vs Flames latest injuries
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