Craig Berube and Ron Hextall will have their first full season together as coach and GM; they’ll also have a Flyer squad to work with that should be playoff bound. Whether they can get past Round One, well…
The Pick Sixty Sports 2014 hockey betting previews continue through the Metro division with our first look at the Philadelphia Flyers, who online sportsbooks are listing with 7 to 1 odds for division champs. Get the information you need for every team here and direct any questions to Pick Sixty’s twitter account. We’re also taking requests for NHL betting trends and systems backed by the SDQL database at KillerSports.com – Agile sports information you can use to make this a profitable season!
Philadelphia Flyers 2014 Preview
Projected Season Win Total: 38.5 (Pinnacle Sports)
Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds will lead the charge this year with a decent supporting cast featuring the return of RJ Umberger. Unfortunately, the other side of that coin is the loss of Scott Hartnell. If Umberger can stay healthy he could find the 20-25 goal range again, especially if he can work his way onto the left side of the top line. Flyers have some rookie potential as well with Jason Akeson coming off a 24 G/40 A season in Adirondack.
On D the Flyers have 3 decent pairings but they’re getting up there age-wise with 39-year-old Kimmo Timonen (Check status) and 36-year-old Mark Streit. Michael Del Zotto and Nick Shultz signed as free agents and will bring some much needed depth. Both Timo and Streit fought back last season from injuries but age is catching up. Timonen’s recent blood clot issues make the odds on him returning 50-50 at best and there is no timetable.
In goal the tandem of Steve Mason and Ray Emery will be back together. Both have had flashes of brilliance in their careers, but for the most part struggle around .900 and tend to let in untimely goals. To be fair to Mason, he was in Columbus for five seasons and often left hung out to dry. At 26, he still may have his best years to come and the Flyers hope it starts now.
Pick Sixty Betting Tip: Overs Early
Look for some high scoring games early in the season as Philly scores their share but continues to allow shots against in the 30-plus range. Philly was eighth in scoring last season with 2.84 goals per game and the Flyers scored four-plus goals 34 times, tied for fifth most in the league. NHL teams who scored well and allowed a lot of shots played over the total last year at a 90-percent clip and from Nov. 23 on, Philly was 18-3 O/U (86-percent) when facing an opponent who averaged 30 or more shots when the total was set at 5.5.
Our feeling is that Mason could come into his own this year so we’ll suggest watching him for streaks and riding the wave. But when facing high octane offenses such as the Rangers (33.2 SOG), Bruins (31.9) or a stronger Western foe, watch for a few “Over” opportunities to present themselves.
Read Totally Covered in our NFL section for winning football picks every weekend!