Flyers vs. Kraken odds, prediction for February 16

We’ve reached the part of the NHL season where the must-win or “desperate team” narrative is going to seep into the betting market quite a bit. There are just a couple of weeks left until the trade deadline and, by now, almost every team in the league knows whether or not it can realistically contend for a playoff spot.

What that does is create situations where a team with it all to play for goes up against another that has nothing really at stake. Oftentimes, we’ll see the price on the former get inflated because nobody wants to bet on a lottery-bound underdog when it’s playing against a team fighting for its season. 

But just betting on a team because it needs a win more than its opponent is a dangerous strategy, especially in a sport like the NHL where the margins are so thin and variance runs wild.

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Flyers vs. Kraken prediction

10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Prior to the All-Star break, everything looked to be in good shape for the Seattle Kraken. The second-year expansion team was 11-3-1 in its last 15 games and looked to be a real contender for the Pacific Division crown.

But a tough East Coast road trip threw the Kraken for a loop. Seattle is just 1-3-1 with a -9 goal difference (10 GF, 19 GA) since returning to action. What’s most concerning is that the Kraken’s goaltending issues are cropping up again, as the team has an .865 save percentage during this recent swoon.

Carter Hart
Carter Hart
NHLI via Getty Images

Through their best run of the season, the Kraken were able to mask their goaltending issues with a red-hot offense that was pacing the NHL in shooting percentage. Regression has come for Seattle’s offense, though, so the poor goaltending is causing some real issues.

A home game against the Philadelphia Flyers should be a solid get-right spot for the Kraken, but there are some reasons to believe that the Flyers can give Seattle some issues.

First and foremost, the Flyers will have a decided edge in goal as long as Carter Hart is named as the starter. The 24-year-old has been superb all season for Philadelphia, posting a .913 save percentage and a +18.6 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) in 40 appearances this season. That’s leaps and bounds better than whoever will start for Seattle, which ranks 28th in the NHL in save percentage this season.

Betting on the NHL?

The other reason to believe in the Flyers is that they’re still playing hard and keeping games tight. Philadelphia has just two wins in its last seven contests, but its five losses in that span have all been by one goal and three of them came after regulation. 

Even though they’re out of the playoff race, the Flyers should be a team that bettors continue to back against playoff-bound teams at big odds. The effort will be there and, most of the time, the price will be inflated thanks to the must-win narrative.

Flyers vs. Kraken pick

Flyers +170 (PointsBet)

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