Will the Stars Pull Off a Shocker and Extinguish the Flames?
Now tied at 1-1 in a low-scoring series, the Flames and Stars head to Dallas for Game 3 Saturday night
Nobody expected this to happen.
After the heavily-favored Calgary Flames smothered the punchless Dallas Stars 1-0 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Round One playoff series, the feisty Texans promptly returned the smackdown and doused the Flames 2-zip in Game 2 at the Saddledome.
All tied up now at 1-1, the series now shifts south to Big D for Game 3. The puck drop on this critical contest at American Airlines Center takes place on Saturday night at 7:30 pm CST / 8:30 pm EST.
Spreads.ca lists Calgary as roughly 3:5 favourites (1.64 -- $1 returns $1.64 on a moneyline winner) while underdog Dallas offers 5:4 (2.25 -- $1 returns $2.25 on a winner).
Based purely on talent, the Flames deserve public support. They won 50 games during the regular season and finished with a +85 goal differential. By contrast, Dallas seemed to bumble their way into the postseason, surrendering 8 goals more than they scored over the course of the year.
No doubt, the hockey world would be shocked if Dallas pulls off this upset. The Stars' chances are certainly aided by now having home ice for the remainder of the series (3/5 games, if they happen, will be played in Dallas.
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Our Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
The Stars-Flames series has been a low-scoring affair so far, and that's just how Dallas likes it. Although defence was expected to be a major factor, few expected that only 3 goals would be scored in the first two games (actually 2 goals, since 1 was an empty-netter).
The total for Game 3 is 5.5, shaded towards the under (1.70), which makes perfect sense. However, we don't think oddsmakers or the betting public have made quite enough adjustment to the obvious nature of this clash, which looks to continue more of the same -- fewer shots than average, solid goaltending, and a low-scoring game.
So, we'll go UNDER 5.5 goals.