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NHL Thursday best bets: Flyers to bring Coyotes back to earth

Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

We split the board with our best bets on Wednesday night, picking up a win and a loss - each in rather convincing fashion.

The Golden Knights put up 49 shots and six goals en route to a three-goal victory over the Blues. It was a much different story for the Hurricanes, who conceded two goals to the Oilers in the first 41 seconds and never recovered.

We'll look to put together a winning night with a pair of plays for Thursday's jam-packed slate.

Ducks (-115) @ Blackhawks (-105)

To say the Ducks and Blackhawks are struggling in their own zone would be an understatement; neither team can defend a lick.

Their season numbers are putrid and continue to head south. The Blackhawks rank 31st in expected goals allowed per 60 minutes of five-on-five play over the past three weeks. The Ducks aren't far behind, sitting 29th during the same period.

Each team should bring out the best in the other side's offense. Petr Mrazek owns a sub-.900 save percentage and is unlikely to mask many of Chicago's defensive blemishes.

Even without Mason McTavish and Trevor Zegras, the Ducks have a few skilled young players that can make you pay. They should be able to score goals in this spot.

Although the Blackhawks lack much firepower outside of Connor Bedard and Seth Jones, a date with the Ducks will make life easier on their offense.

The Ducks rank dead last in five-on-five save percentage - and goals against - over the last 10 games. John Gibson has fallen off after a strong start to the year, while Lukas Dostal has been borderline unplayable.

Both offenses should be spoon-fed opportunities throughout the night, and given the expected level of goaltending, plenty of them should find the back of the net.

Bet: Over 6.5 (+100)

Flyers (-105) @ Coyotes (-115)

The Coyotes are getting a lot of hype after stringing together five consecutive wins while facing the Golden Knights, Lightning, Avalanche, Blues, and Capitals.

They were outshot 34-18 against the Golden Knights, however, and controlled 30% of the expected goals. Next time out, the Coyotes conceded 20 more chances than they generated - another steal for Connor Ingram.

While their win against the Avalanche was legitimately impressive, the Coyotes were then outchanced by both the Blues and Capitals. They converted on 20% of their shots and Ingram remained piping hot in goal.

The Coyotes deserve credit for finding ways to win over this five-game stretch, but that doesn't mean it's sustainable.

Arizona generated 14.31 expected goals and 15.57 expected goals allowed over this winning streak. Actual retail price? A whopping 19 goals for and just five against. That's a net of minus-1.26 expected goals and plus-14 actual goals.

The Coyotes are not going to continue scoring on 15% of their shots, nor will they continue to save 97% of what they allow.

The Flyers are a much better five-on-five team than the Coyotes. Philadelphia should be able to create more shots and chances than it gives up and, sooner rather than later, that recipe is going to stop working for Arizona.

Bet: Flyers (-105)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @ToddCordell.

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