Ice Hockey

Betting tips: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Nashville Predators 12/21

The last betting tip of 2023 revolves around two teams that have performed surprisingly well. There’s a chance the Flyers will play their backup, which would give a huge goaltending advantage to the Preds.

The biggest surprise in the East

There’s no question that the Flyers are the most positive surprise in the Eastern Conference as we head to the holiday season. At the time of writing, the Flyers are third in the conference. Who would have predicted that in October! On top of that, their success has been well-deserved. Any team that racks up about 53 percent of expected goals is bound to have more wins than losses. John Tortorella deserves credit for that stat, and he is the biggest favorite to win the Jack Adams trophy now that we’re almost done with 2023.

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On paper, Philly shouldn’t be fighting for the top spots in the conference. The defense is by no means comparable to the best teams in the East, and the offense isn’t much better either. However, this team simply delivers results, especially under Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier. Incredibly, Couturier is back to his own level after missing all of last season. Konecny, on the other hand, has continued at the franchise level and is expected to garner votes in the Selke vote at the end of the season.

On the goaltending side, the Flyers are facing an interesting choice. This is the first game of a back-to-back set as the Flyers play in Detroit on Friday. At the end of the regular season, the Red Wings are likely battling for the same positions as the Flyers, so that game should be higher on the priority list. Carter Hart could therefore rest against the Predators. Backup Samuel Ersson has played decently but he would be a major downgrade compared to Hart.

Unsung heroes

Today’s opponents, the Nashville Predators, have a very similar team profile to the Flyers. The Predators have also found success in the fall with solid xG performance combined with high-quality goaltending. It’s more about the team rather than individual elite players, as good as Juuse Saros, Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg are in their positions.

The Preds are a four-line team that also gets secondary scoring from their bottom six. They’re able to turn one-goal games into wins with a good percentage. It helps if you can get the occasional goal from your fourth line, and you have one of the league’s elite netminders on your own end. Saros plays a lot and is likely to start this match as well. The Preds don’t have any performance-impacting injuries, and neither do the Flyers.

Preds are slight early favorites

I’m expecting a very low scoring game, where small margins are even more decisive than usual. There is nothing interesting in totals, as the oddsmakers have also predicted the low scoring nature of the game.

There is some early value in Nashville. A potential start for Ersson in goal for the Flyers would give the Preds a clear goaltending advantage. There is no certainty about the starting goalies based on Wednesday’s information. That’s okay, because we can place a bet for the Preds and still expect to make a small profit with current odds even if Hart starts for the Flyers.  

The Preds are slight +100 underdogs, and I’m willing to accept those odds for two units even without lineups. This is the final NHL tip of 2023. Make sure to come back in the first week of January, when we resume the season with new betting tips. Happy holidays and many winning bets for 2024!

Tip: Nashville Predators Moneyline @ +100
Units: 2/10

The match will start on 12/21/2023 at 7:00 PM EST.
The odds are from the time of publication of the article and are subject to change.

Esa Kostet
X: @konekostet

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