Flames vs. Kraken prediction: The road favorites are the NHL pick Wednesday

The Calgary Flames are going through a funky stretch right now.

If you look at Calgary’s 5-on-5 stats since the beginning of the month, you’d say the Flames are playing some of their best hockey this season. Despite that, Calgary is just 6-4-4 and is coming off a 2-1 loss to Edmonton in the Battle of Alberta on Tuesday night.

Calgary has no time to dwell on the loss to the Oilers, however, as they head to Seattle to take on the Kraken. 

Tonight’s game is a late one on the east coast, with puck drop coming at 10 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted live for a national audience on TNT.

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Andrew Mangiapane #88 of the Calgary Flames battles for the puck
Andrew Mangiapane #88 of the Calgary Flames battles for the puck
NHLI via Getty Images

Flames vs. Kraken prediction

Despite the fact that the Kraken are at home and the Flames played last night, bookmakers are having a tough time separating these two teams on Wednesday night, with Calgary sitting as a slight favorite at -118. That may seem a bit odd since the Kraken have the better record and have the schedule advantages, but if you look under the hood, it begins to make more sense. 

Since Dec. 1, the Flames rank first in the NHL in shot attempt rate, third in expected goals rate, and 13th in high-danger scoring chance rate. Those numbers should correlate with a better record than 6-4-4, but the Flames are not finishing at a consistent rate, and their goaltending has been spotty at best over that span. 

Seattle’s 5-on-5 play has been a bit more spotty over its last 10 games. The Kraken are generating plenty of shot attempts, but they’re giving up more high-quality chances than they’re generating during that span. 

Seattle Kraken right wing Andre Burakovsky (95) takes a shot
Seattle Kraken right wing Andre Burakovsky (95) takes a shot
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Betting on the NHL?

And if Calgary’s goaltending has been inconsistent this season, it’s fair to say that Seattle’s has been poor. Only two teams (San Jose, Vancouver) have a lower save percentage than the Kraken do through the first half of the campaign. 

It may not seem like a great schedule spot for the Flames since they had to travel after a tough-luck loss to their rivals on Tuesday night, but they’re coming off the holiday break, so fatigue isn’t a huge factor. Additionally, it’s been six days since the Kraken last played, so there’s a chance that the rust is a bigger issue than the rest at Climate Pledge Arena. 

But more than anything, this seems like a good buying opportunity on the Flames, who are playing better than their record suggests of late. Calgary should be on your radar for the foreseeable future, and the Flames represent good value against a shaky Seattle team on Wednesday night.

Flames vs. Kraken pick

Calgary Flames -118 (FanDuel)

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