The betting feast began early for Friday’s Philadelphia Flyers–Montreal Canadiens Game 6 NHL playoff matchup.
Brisk action moved the lines a full day ahead of the 7 p.m. Friday faceoff and the interest should grow closer to the game.
Gamblers find an enticing wagering menu, which offers something compelling for backers of both teams.
Canadiens vs. Flyers odds for Friday’s game
Philadelphia, up three games to two in the series, remains slightly favored to notch its first post-season triumph since 2012 across the spectrum of DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet and Fox Bet online sportsbooks in New Jersey.
Flyers vs. Canadiens Game 6 odds (last updated 12 p.m. ET Aug. 21)
|Game 6: 7 p.m. ET Aug. 21||DraftKings||FanDuel||Fox Bet||PointsBet|
|Puck line||+1.5 (-240)|
|Over/under||O 5 (-105)|
U 5 (-117)
|O 4.5 (-180)|
U 4.5 (+155)
|O 5.5 (+150)|
U 5.5 (-188)
|O 5 (+100)
U 5 (-121)
But for the first time in the series, at least for a while, the Flyers have been reasonably-priced as a single-game moneyline pick. The DraftKings line of -124 was especially playable. A number of bettors grabbed that and the line moved to -129 late in the day. It then hit -141 by Thursday evening.
On Friday morning, the Flyers had settled at -136 at DraftKings.
Expect more volatility. FanDuel reported that 90% of the bets and 98% of the moneyline handle was on the Flyers on Thursday. If this continues, Philadelphia will become a stronger favorite and less attractive.
Conversely, Montreal bettors see that their team has figured out a way to win. The line conveys respect for their chances and could prompt interest from that direction.
Philadelphia will gain the lion’s share of action across New Jersey online sportsbooks, but Canadiens backers like what they saw in Game 5.
Is there a chance for more goals on Friday?
Montreal’s 5-3 triumph to extend the series Wednesday night not only showed the team is capable of winning the series, but it juggled the over-under line for this game.
FanDuel and Fox Bet NJ opened at 5.5 rather than the classic “5” number that has marked the series.
This is extremely important to over-under bettors, especially those who weighed in early.
If not, some of that has changed.
Thursday afternoon, FanDuel moved its over-under line to 4.5, a substantial adjustment. Those who placed an under 5.5 wager before the change got a deal.
Montreal’s Game 5 triumph was the first game to reward “over” bettors (Game 2, a 5-0 Montreal win, was a push at many NJ sportsbooks). It contained a wide-open exciting style of play.
Good for the Canadiens, not good for the Flyers.
Where the Flyers stand
The overall betting line for tonight reveals a true sense of where this game, and series, lies.
It’s a good board, guaranteed to reward bettors who guess the right direction of this game. And that should depend upon which team inflicts its style of play on the other.
Philadelphia’s three wins involve a grinding, tight-checking blueprint that held Montreal to one total goal in those outings. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart enhanced that strategy by making some excellent saves and reeling off two consecutive shutouts.
His heroics in Game 3, a 1-0 Flyers win, prevented Montreal from going ahead in the series. It is the most important series win for Philadelphia to date.
The defense, especially in a 2-0 Game 4 triumph, bottled up the faster Canadiens through the neutral zone. The Flyers thrived with a dump-and-chase game, shooting the puck in deep and making Montreal skaters go the entire length of the ice to take shots (not unlike an NFL team forcing its opponent to march up the field from deep in its own territory).
Where the Canadiens stand
In Montreal’s two victories, the fast-skating Canadiens roared through center-ice like a NASCAR vehicle on the final lap.
Purists and Montreal bettors love the artistry of this style, which is a great advertisement for the sport.
For Flyers bettors, however, it was the last thing they wanted to see. The Canadiens are one of the league’s fastest teams and will often win the wide-open games.
This was never more evident than in the backbreaking, game-winning goal in Game 5.
Just 22 seconds after the Flyers had forged a 3-3 tie in the third period, the Flyers had a giveaway behind their own net. A pass was thrown out to Nick Suzuki, who swerved away from a check and fired the puck past Hart.
Islanders upset Capitals: Good news for Flyers fans
The stakes were raised and a Stanley Cup enticement was given to the Flyers on Thursday night.
The sixth-seeded New York Islanders delivered the first upset of the post-season, bouncing the third-seeded Washington Capitals from the playoffs with a 4-0 win.
The Capitals were considered one of the major Eastern Conference threats.
By virtue of the No. 1 seed, the Flyers will play the Islanders if they defeat the Canadiens. They would thus avoid the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning, two other prime Eastern Conference forces, in the next round.
If the Flyers beat Montreal, Tampa Bay and Boston will have to face each other in the second round, ensuring that another major Stanley Cup threat would disappear before the Flyers played them.
The Islanders victory made the Flyers road to the Stanley Cup easier, if they can take care of business against the Canadiens. Game 5 didn’t look so good for that scenario.
Flyers-Canadiens Game 5 betting takeaways
The Flyers bettor will believe that everything bad that could happen did in one game.
That starts with Hart, who suffered some bad breaks and was also outplayed by Montreal’s Carey Price. Hart was due for an off game after two marvelous shutouts.
Hart, who had carried the Flyers through four games, faltered in Game 5. He allowed two weak goals, one of which was called back with a successful challenge by Flyers coach Alain Vigneault.
Hart was also victimized by a freak opportunistic bounce off the boards that gave Montreal a point-blank shot for the first goal early in the game.
And then he was left helpless on the game-winning goal. Forget the empty net tally Montreal notched. That doesn’t reflect on Hart, who only allowed two goals he could be faulted on.
Nonetheless, his reflexes were not sharp in the second end of back-to-back games.
Vigneault considered pulling him in the second period, but left Hart in. If things don’t go well early for Philadelphia in Game 6, don’t be surprised if Vigneault removes Hart in favor of backup Brian Elliott, rolling the dice on a potential Game 7 on Sunday.
Price, like Hart, has been brilliant. He has a shutout in this series, too. For both goalies, this is their third game in four nights. Hart just had his off game. Is Price ever going to have one?
Final betting notes before Game 6
Breakouts: Flyers power-play returns. Mentioned here before Game 5, the Flyers’ 1-for-28 post-season power play had begun to show signs of life. Philadelphia responded by notching not one or two, but three power-play tallies.
Player props: Of those we considered “due to score” in Game 5, Jakob Voracek did tally (twice) and returned nearly 4-1 for his DraftKings backers. Kevin Hayes, at nearly 3-1, got plenty of chances and was stopped on a clear breakaway.
He was also pulled down and could have been awarded a penalty shot in the third period.
The penalty shot was not called, but a penalty was and the Flyers scored on it. If you bet the Hayes prop, you read the situation right. You didn’t cash, but your bet matched his best offensive game of the series.
A good play, even if it didn’t win.