How to bet on the Flames: Props, totals and parlays
The Flames have a lot of offensive weapons. Photo by Andy Clayton-King/AP.

The Calgary Flames have rebounded in Year 2 of Darryl Sutter's second tenure with the club.

They are solid all around and have a fearsome offence powered by Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. Add it all up and it makes the Flames a fun and profitable team to bet on.

For those unsure of how to bet on the Flames, we're here to help. We'll review some of the different options available to you in this Calgary betting guide.

How to bet on the Flames

There's no shortage of options when it comes to betting on the Flames. But there are a number of different factors you should focus on that may ultimately influence what you decide to bet on — whether that's the Flames moneyline or a Gaudreau scoring prop.

Those factors include the opponent, location, trends, injuries and the odds.

We'll explore some of the most popular betting markets provided by sportsbooks and offer advice on how to place the best wagers.

Moneyline

A moneyline (ML) bet is the most straightforward wager you can make on a hockey game. This type of bet involves picking the straight-up winner of a game. You will win your moneyline bet if you correctly pick who comes out on top. The margin of victory or whether the contest ends in regulation, overtime, or a shootout doesn't matter.

The favourite for the game will have a minus (-) symbol in front of its odds and the underdog will be denoted with a plus (+) symbol.

Calgary will find itself in the favourite role more often than not. In a home game against the Edmonton Oilers, for example, the Flames would be favoured. Calgary would also be favoured if it hosted the Vancouver Canucks.

The Flames would likely be listed as an underdog, however, in a road tilt versus the Vegas Golden Knights.

Moneyline odds

The odds for each of those hypothetical games would look something like this:

Oilers (+160) vs. Flames (-180)
Canucks (+170) vs. Flames (-200)
Flames (+150) vs. Knights (-170)

Those odds tell us a few things, including who the favourite and underdog is. It also tells us what the operator believes each of those teams' chances of winning is in addition to how much you could profit on a successful bet.

-180 (64.29% implied win probability): A $180 bet would win $100.
-200 (66.67% implied win probability): A $200 bet would win $200.
+150 (40% implied win probability): A $100 bet would win $150.

The Golden Knights contest is the game that makes the most sense to place a moneyline wager on.

Although Calgary's chances of winning are deemed lowest in that example, a 40% implied win probability is not a long-shot pick by any means. The ROI is strong, too, as it would require a $100 wager to profit $150.

It's important to not blindly bet on the Flames even if you think they will win. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/AP.

A moneyline bet may also be in consideration for the Oilers game, as the implied win probability is fairly high and staking $180 to win $100 isn't the worst. Though it is admittedly creeping into low-value territory.

We wouldn't recommend an ML bet in the Canucks game. Staking $200 to win $100 isn't a great bet to make. Therefore, in either of those contests, it may be a better opportunity to bet on the Flames puck line.

Puck line

In addition to making a moneyline bet, you'll also have the option of wagering on the puck line. Unlike the moneyline, a puck line wager involves betting against a point spread.

Puck lines are typically set at 1.5 and can sometimes be 2.5 or higher. They are also accompanied by odds which reflect the potential payout for a successful puck line wager.

Continuing with the examples from the moneyline section, the puck lines for Flames games would look something like this:

Oilers +1.5 (-155) vs. Flames -1.5 (+135)
Canucks +1.5 (-140) vs. Flames -1.5 (+120)
Flames +1.5 (-165) vs. Golden Knights -1.5 (+145)

The -1.5 next to the Flames in the first two examples means that Calgary is the favourite and will have 1.5 goals subtracted from its total. In order to cover the puck line, Calgary must win the game by two goals or more.

Against the Golden Knights, on the other hand, the +1.5 next to Calgary's total represents its status as the underdog. Therefore, to cover the puck line in that game, the Flames can lose by a goal or win outright.

As a result, the payouts for a bet on Calgary in each instance would look like this:

+135 (42.55% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $135.
+120 (45.45% implied win probability): A $100 wager would win $120.
-165 (62.26% implied win probability): A $165 wager would win $100.

It makes much more sense to back Calgary on the puck line rather than the moneyline in the Oilers and Canucks games.

Against Edmonton, a $100 bet on the puck line wins $135 and has a respectable 42.55% implied win probability. Similarly, against Vancouver, a $100 wager nets $120 and has a 45.45% implied win probability.

Wagering on the puck line against Golden Knights isn't a bad bet as a $165 stake wins $100. Opposed to the other games, however, the contest against Vegas presents a decent opportunity to wager on either the puck line or moneyline.

The moneyline has a smaller but still decent implied win probability, in addition to a smaller wager that provides higher winnings. The puck line, though, has a higher implied win probability and requires a $165 bet to win $100.

The decision on which one to select would ultimately come down to your risk tolerance.

How to bet on Flames totals

Aside from betting on the final result of a game, you can also wager on the number of goals scored in a game. Game total lines are typically set at 5.5 or 6.5 goals, giving you the option to wager on whether the two teams will combine to go over or under the total.

Elias Lindholm and the Flames are a threat to put up lots of goals every game. Photo by Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press.

Therefore, in a game against the Oilers where the line is 5.5, a successful bet to the over requires the two sides to combine for six goals or more. A winning under wager needs both squads to team up for five goals or fewer.

Totals can also be presented as an over/under and O/U. All refer to the same market.

Additionally, team totals are another option provided by sportsbooks. Team totals are usually set at 2.5 or 3.5 goals and work similarly to game totals.

Instead of a combined total between two teams, you'll wager on an individual team's output. For example, if Calgary's team total is 2.5 goals and you believe it will score three or more goals, you'd take the over. You'd bet on the Flames under if you felt they would score two goals or fewer.

Totals are a great option for betting on a game, especially if you're unsure of how the final will shake out.

How to bet on Flames props

Props, like totals, are another betting option that doesn't deal with the outcome of the game. Prop bets can include wagering on which team will score the third goal of the game, or on whether or not the team that scores first will win the game.

Prop bets also centre around player performances, which is what we'll focus on in this section.

A player prop can involve betting on whether or not a certain player will score a goal or assist, as well as the number of shots they'll take in a contest.

For instance, if you believe Gaudreau will record an assist in the next Flames game, you could place a wager on his assist prop.

At most sportsbooks, Gaudreau's assist prop will look similar to this:

Gaudreau 0.5 assists: Over (-120), Under (-120).

Regardless of whether you bet on Johnny Hockey's over or under, a $120 wager wins $100 in this example. When looking to bet Gaudreau's assist prop, keep in mind both the odds and the opponent.

It's all smiles when your Gaudreau prop cashes. Photo by Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press.

For any bet, the odds are important and there are some games that will provide a better opportunity to wager on a player prop.

Opponent goals allowed per game and scoring chances allowed per game are two key stats to monitor prior to placing your bet. The more goals and scoring chances an opponent allows likely means there will be more opportunities for Gaudreau to tally a helper.

Parlays and specials

Another pair of options made available by most sportsbooks are player and game specials. These pre-built specials, however, usually require you to wager on multiple events, which essentially turns your bet into a parlay.

The operator may also allow you to build your own same-game parlay.

A parlay is a wager that has multiple legs (another word for event) on it. The issue with parlays is they significantly decrease your chances of winning with each event added, as just one loss on the ticket will result in the entire ticket losing.

The oddsmakers compensate your increased risk assumption with heightened odds. But it's important to know that your chance of winning is largely lowered.

In an upcoming Oilers and Flames game, for instance, you may believe that Calgary will cover the puck line, that the contest will go over its game total and that Gaudreau will record an assist.

If you were to bet these three events individually, their odds would look like this:

Flames puck line (+135)
Oilers/Flames over 5.5 goals (-110)
Gaudreau over 0.5 assists (-120)

The odds would look much different if you turned that into a parlay.

Flames puck line, Oilers/Flames over 5.5 goals, Gaudreau over 0.5 assists (+722).

The parlay would return a significantly larger payout than if you bet on each event individually. That's due to the increased risk of having multiple events on it. Remember that if one leg loses, the whole ticket does as well.

But if you were to bet all three individually, the outcome of one event has no bearing on the result of another.

There are more ways to get in on Flames action through live betting and the futures market, where you can pick the Flames to win the Cup or Elias Lindholm to win the Selke Trophy.

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How to bet on the NHL
Chris Toman
NorthStar Bets editorial Insiders have no influence, direct or otherwise, over the setting of odds advertised on our platforms.