The battle of Alberta will help wrap up the 2019 NHL regular season Saturday as the frustrated Edmonton Oilers pay a visit to the top-seeded Calgary Flames at 10 p.m. Eastern.
We went 1-1 with our free picks Thursday as we bypassed the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lopsided moneyline odds against the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit couldn’t cover the spread for us, but we nailed the under to get to 22-13 heading into the final day of the season.
By the Numbers
- The Flames hold a narrow 2-1 edge in the season series, but a convincing 9-5 advantage in goals through the first two meetings of the provincial rivalry this season.
- The visiting Oilers have covered the spread in 18 of 40 on the road, while the Flames have got the job done in 22 of 40 at home.
- Edmonton’s lost five straight and eight of 10 coming in, scoring two or fewer goals in six of those outings. Calgary’s coming off a loss but has won six of 10. It’s played to the under in all but three of those games.
Projected Goalie Starters
Mikko Koskinen vs. David Rittich
Koskinen has a .899 save percentage since being signed to a three-year, $13.5-million extension on Jan. 21 amid what was believed at the time to be a breakout season for the 30-year-old. He started all three games against Calgary this year with his best outing coming as a 24-save shutout in December.
Rittich has stopped 75 of 80 shots he’s faced through three games against the Oilers. The breakout star of 2018-19 has won four of his past five at home.
Oilers LW Jujhar Khaira and C Kyle Brodziak both missed Tuesday’s game with undisclosed injuries and remain day-to-day ahead of the finale.
Flames RW Sam Bennett is expected to be held out in preparation of Game 1 of the postseason.
NHL Best Bet
Moneyline: The Flames are listed at -180 for the outright win but that’s still a conservative number as they finalize preparations for the playoffs. Take the home team.
Against the spread: Bettors can get +145 odds by taking the Flames to cover -1.5. They’ve done it in two of their three meetings against the Oilers this season and should be expected to once again.
Over/under: This is one of five games on the day with a total set at 6.5. Both teams have been playing to low numbers of late and Calgary is in playoff mode with a stingy defense. The UNDER is the play at -115.
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