The Nashville Predators are one of just a few teams left in the NHL that have yet to clinch a playoff spot or be eliminated. They currently are in fourth place in the Central Division as the first Wild Card team and have a slim chance to catch the Minnesota Wild to get out of the Wild Card. They could also get bounced from the Wild Card game altogether by allowing the Dallas Stars and the Winnipeg Jets to leapfrog them.
The Stars are currently tied with the Preds, while the Jets are trailing by 10 points. It's highly unlikely that the Jets can catch either team, but the chance is still there. The Flames, meanwhile, lead the Pacific Division by nine points and are not going to get caught by the Edmonton Oilers.
Here are the odds for tonight’s matchup, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.
Flames vs. Predators Odds and Total
- Flames -165
- Predators +115
- Flames -1.5 (+170)
- Predators +1.5 (-210)
- 6 (Over -120/Under +100)
Flames vs. Predators Prediction and Pick
The Flames are objectively a much better team from top to bottom. However, the Predators are desperate to get out of the Wild Card game and have a lot more to play for tonight.
My problem with this is that even if they are at 80 percent, I still think the Flames are a better team. Even with first-place basically locked down, Calgary is not letting off the gas. They have won seven of their last eight games and outscored opponents 14-3 in their last two games.
So, is the urgency to win enough to get the Predators a win tonight? Normally no, but the Predators start Dan Vladar between the pipes tonight instead of Jacob Markstrom. The latter is one of the best in the league, while Vlader is not quite as stable. In 19 games this year, Vladar has a goals saved above-expected rating of -5.0 and a .905 save percentage.
I’m going to take a chance on the home dogs getting favorable odds against a mediocre goalie.
Pick: Under 6 -120
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