Nashville Predators vs. Philadelphia Flyers Free Preview 12/20/18

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The Wells Fargo Center is playing host to an intriguing matchup as the Philadelphia Flyers take on the visiting Nashville Predators. The puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 20, and fans at home will be able to catch this East-West matchup live on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Nashville Predators vs. Philadelphia Flyers Odds

Nashville (-130) is tabbed as the favorite over Philadelphia (+110) and the Over/Under (O/U) has been placed at an even 6 goals (-125 over, +105 under).

Nashville is 22-13 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.8 units this season. 18 of its matches have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just one has pushed. As a road team this season, the Preds are 8-8 SU.

Nashville has converted on just 16.1 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that places them in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. Its penalty kill is ranked 12th overall, and it has successfully killed off 81.4 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, Nashville has been penalized 3.9 times per game overall in the 2018-19 season, 3.6 per game over its last five matchups total, and 3.8 per game over its last five on the road. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Boasting a .927 save percentage and 24.2 saves per game, Pekka Rinne (15-9-2) has been the top option in goal for Nashville this season. If Nashville decides to rest him, however, the team could turn to Juuse Saros (8-7-1), who has a .894 save percentage and 3.05 goals against average this year.

Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi will both be relied on to facilitate things for the visiting Predators. Johansen (30 points) is up to five goals and 25 assists, and has recorded multiple points in nine different games. Josi has seven goals and 19 assists to his creditand has logged a point in 20 games.

Over on the other bench, Philadelphia is 13-19 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. 19 of its outings have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and none have pushed. This year, the team’s 6-9 SU at home.

Philadelphia has converted on just 12.6 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that places it in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 31st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 73.3 percent of all opponent power plays.

Philadelphia players have been whistled for penalties 4.2 times per game this season, and 3.5 per game over their past ten outings. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays 9.6 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Brian Elliott has stopped 25.0 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for Philadelphia. Elliott has seven wins and seven losses to his name and has registered a .911 save percentage and 2.59 goals against average this season.

Claude Giroux (11 goals, 29 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the Flyers.

Nashville Predators vs. Philadelphia Flyers Betting Predictions

Free NHL Tip: SU Winner – Flyers, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • For both of these clubs, the under has hit in three of their past five outings.
  • Nashville has managed 29.8 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Philadelphia is averaging 37.4 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • The Predators are 9-4 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 16-8 when they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total.
  • Philadelphia skaters have forced 4.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a drop-off from its season average of 5.3 takeaways per game (ranked 30th in the NHL).
  • Nashville is ranked 13th overall with 8.1 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward, as it’s managed 9.4 takeaways over its last 10 games and 9.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Nashville might hold an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s 9-7 in games decided by one goal, while Philadelphia is 4-7 in such games.