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Philadelphia Flyers 2022-23 season futures: How to bet the over/under

Bookmakers expect it to be a long season in the City of Brotherly Love

Flyers goalie Carter Hart is likely to face a lot of shots against during a 2022-23 season that is expected to be a long one for the Flyers and their fans. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Flyers goalie Carter Hart is likely to face a lot of shots against during a 2022-23 season that is expected to be a long one for the Flyers and their fans. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)Read moreTim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers were caught in purgatory over the past couple of seasons and didn’t do anything this summer to clarify the direction of the team. Rather than trade away assets and begin rebuilding, the Flyers made big commitments to veterans Rasmus Ristolainen and Tony DeAngelo while not making any notable changes to improve a forward group that finished 31st in goals per game in 2021-22.

The confusion over the direction of the team blended with the lack of talent on the roster has the betting market sour on the the Flyers’ chances to contend this season. Philadelphia is -900 to miss the postseason and has an over/under of just 74.5 points.

Philadelphia Flyers Prediction: Under 74.5 Points (Caesars)

Right away the thing that sticks out for Philadelphia is the top-six. Sean Couturier was once a legitimate No. 1 center and a two-way force. But the 29-year-old was limited to just 29 games in 2021-22 and could miss the start of the 2022-23 season with a back injury. Even if Couturier was healthy, he didn’t have much help around him, especially now with Claude Giroux no longer with the team.

With Couturier out, Kevin Hayes, who is also coming off an injury-shortened season, becomes the de factor No. 1 center and will be flanked by some combination of Joel Farabee, Cam Atkinson, Travis Konecny or James van Riemsdyk to become one of the weaker top units in the NHL.

The Flyers could get step-forward seasons from young forwards Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost and Farabee, but none of them seem like safe bets to be consistent top-six producers at this point.

Philadelphia’s defense is the strongest part of its roster, but that isn’t saying much since this unit projects to be pedestrian at best. Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Tony DeAngelo are all capable rearguards, but none of them is a surefire top-pairing player, especially without the presence of a steady partner.

Cam York seems like he’s trending well enough as a young defenseman that perhaps he breaks out, but with the players around him, that seems like a pie-in-the-sky gamble more than anything.

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Philadelphia’s goaltending situation is also a bit messy, as young goaltender Carter Hart has endured a couple of tough seasons after what looked like a potential star-turn in The Bubble. After finishing the 2020-21 season with an .877 SV% and a -24.3 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx), Hart did seem like he was on his way to a bounce-back performance early in 2021-22. He posted a .917 SV% and +8.64 GSAx between Opening Night and New Year’s Day, but he finished the season by posting an .897 SV% and -15.6 GSAx over his last 26 games.

It’s hard to judge goaltenders, especially young ones playing behind bad teams, but it’s anybody’s guess where Hart’s career goes from here. What is a decent gamble is that the defense in front of him won’t make life easy on the goaltenders, as it finished 28th in expected goals allowed and 27th in high-danger chances conceded last season, per Natural Stat Trick.

New head coach John Tortorella does have a reputation for getting the most out of his teams, but if he can get this roster to compete for a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division, it would be a minor miracle.

The Flyers have the fifth-lowest over/under on points this season — ahead of Arizona, Chicago, Montreal and San Jose — but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Philadelphia challenge Arizona for the second-worst record behind the Blackhawks.

Betting the under on a Tortorella team is tough because he will demand Philadelphia plays hard every night, but there’s plenty of margin for error at this number, which the Flyers cleared by 13.5 points last season.

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