NHL Hockey Betting: Ottawa Senators at Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Hockey Betting:  Ottawa Senators at Philadelphia Flyers

If you’re a fan of defense you’re probably not a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers. Or vice versa. The Flyers have been an embarassment this year in their own end of the ice and they’re currently tied with the Calgary Flames for the worst team goals against average in hockey. The Flyers have allowed 3.63 goals per game. They score a fair number as well and are tied for third with Chicago and Montreal at 3.31. That really doesn’t do them much good–you don’t have to be a statistical genius to realize that anytime the other guy scores more than you do it’s not going to work out well for you. The Flyers aren’t ‘dead in the water’ or anything. At 7-7-2 they’re right in the mix in the middle of the Eastern Conference pack and they’ve got plenty of time to get things together. Philly’s goalies have shown some impressive form at times (Michal Neuvirth was a monster in their playoff series loss to Washington) but that’s no guarantee they can get their issues worked out. Part of that is injuries–Neuvirth will miss at least a month with a lower body injury and Steve Mason has been ineffective.

Things are betting in Ottawa–at least on paper. The Senators are in third place in the Atlantic Division and are at least within shouting distance of the monstrous Montreal Canadiens 8 points ahead. Ottawa is also getting decent goaltending this year and for the first time in recent memory are among the best defensive teams in hockey. The Senators are currently tied for the 5th best team goals against average in hockey (2.33) with Buffalo and San Jose. They’ve got the opposite problem from the Flyers–they’re having a hard time ‘putting the biscuit in the basket’. Ottawa is the #27 scoring offence in hockey ahead of only Vancouver, Buffalo and Colorado at 2.20 goals per game.

One of the many reasons that hockey is such a fascinating sports to watch is the matchups. In most sports ‘a good defense beats a good offense’. That’s not always the case in hockey. For that reason, we’ll back the superior offense of the Flyers and think they’re undrevalued here. Ottawa has a ton of big games coming up (Nashville, Florida and Boston at home plus at Montreal next Monday night) and their focus could be elsewhere.