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NHL Odds & Picks for Oilers vs. Jets: Bet Edmonton to Pull Off the Win (Jan. 24)

NHL Odds & Picks for Oilers vs. Jets: Bet Edmonton to Pull Off the Win (Jan. 24) article feature image

Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.

  • The Edmonton Oilers take on the surging Winnipeg Jets in Sunday's NHL action at Bell MTS Place.
  • Can the rested Oilers get past the Jets, who have won three in a row?
  • Matt Russell thinks so and explains why he's backing Edmonton below.

Oilers vs. Jets Odds

Oilers Odds -137
Jets Odds +118
Over/Under 6.5 (-103/-120)
Time 9 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday evening and via DraftKings.

Being a hockey handicapper isn’t any different than any other sport.

Like anybody else, you’re a fan of the sport. You look forward to certain matchups. What makes a handicapper and bettor different is the type of matchups that can get you interested in a game.

There’s the good-versus-good contest between teams you think are pretty good. There’s the underrated-overrated game you think provides some — or a ton of– betting value.

Unfortunately, Sunday’s game between the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets is neither of those.

To be honest, I don’t really think much of these teams. And my model doesn’t think much of either of them. Both are slightly on the positive side of average, with not much mathematically to differentiate the teams.

While we want to use the math element to understand the probability of who’s going to play better, there’s always an angle when it comes to betting.

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Edmonton Oilers

After a 1-3 home start to the season, the Oilers made a trip to Toronto, with bettors, fans and the media expecting two games that looked less like hockey and more like short track speed skating.

What was expected was high-octane offense, a ton of pace and athletes sliding recklessly into the boards.

However, that’s not what happened. Both teams came into the mini-series with a concerted effort to be better defensively, and what resulted likely had Canadians across the country losing interest early.

Connor McDavid scored a goal, but it probably wasn’t one that had the media drooling following the effort. Each team took two points, with both games needing empty-net goals to make the scoreboard look a little prettier. 

This doesn’t sound like resounding support for the Oilers, but it actually is. Restricting the Maple Leafs to just nine High-Danger Chances (HDC) is a step in the right direction after yielding 33 in their first four games of the season.

That should work nicely, as the Oilers make their way back across Canada, with a stop in Winnipeg for a pair of games on the way home.

Winnipeg Jets

If COVID-19 protocols allowed, the Jets would have had some fans in the stands for Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

Unfortunately for Winnipeg, those in the seats would be the Oilers, who had the opportunity to scout their opponent before facing them at MTS Place. 

It hasn’t been a great schedule setup for the Jets early this season. While the Calgary Flames barely ever play, Winnipeg had to do its own personal back-to-back after playing in Toronto last week when it went to Ottawa the next night.

The Jets were soundly outplayed by the Senators on Tuesday, but pulled off a win thanks to a late tying-goal with their goaltender pulled and a subsequent overtime game-winning goal. Winnipeg was good for just a 33 percent Expected Goal share in that contest.

On Saturday, the Jets had business to take care of. As it happens in hockey, they’d built quite a little hate in a three-game set with the Senators. Ottawa literally inserted a player into their lineup — Michael Haley — for the sole purpose of fighting, looking to settle a beef from two nights before.

The Jets trailed 3-2 heading into the third period before a late-game outburst led them a decisive, 6-3 win. If not literally in the stands, Edmonton witnessed the Jets’ best game of the season, already in Winnipeg, sitting and waiting for Ottawa to leave town.

The Jets piled up season-highs with 14 HDC and 2.77 expected goals for (xGF), only to have to play a second back-to-back in a week where the opponent is waiting and watching.

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Oilers-Jets Pick

Expecting the Jets to follow up their best effort of the season with a repeat performance might be asking too much.

The Jets made a big trade Saturday, sending star sniper Patrik Laine to Columbus, but the reinforcement in the form of Pierre-Luc Dubois won’t be ready to hit the ice just yet. Short on players and short on rest? Not ideal. Especially since the Jets gave up 10 HDC for the third time this season, which is something the Oilers would be happy to take advantage of in this spot.

From a rating standpoint, there isn’t much between these two teams, as my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model featured on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast shows the Jets as 2% above average 5-on-5 and the Oilers 6% above. That’s actually an improvement for the Oilers, thanks to their newfound defensive conscience.

My true moneyline makes this game almost a complete Pick’em, but with the market currently sitting at Oilers -127, there’s been an adjustment due to the situation being so favorable for Edmonton

However, I don’t think the adjustment has been made for the Oilers’ potential attitude adjustment.

In a game featuring teams that still have a lot to figure out, I’ll take the side that’s rested and has a plan rather than one that might have given their best in last night’s grudge match.

Pick:  Oilers (-127 or better)

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