Golden Knights vs. Oilers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Vegas Finding its Stride
Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Robin Lehner
Golden Knights vs. Oilers Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-120|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
It might be crazy to think this in November, but we could get a Western Conference Final preview on Saturday night. The Vegas Golden Knights have an elite pedigree since coming into the league, while the Edmonton Oilers are finally hitting their stride in the Connor McDavid era.
That will make for an entertaining Pacific Division battle in Vegas.
Oilers Still Not Driving at Even Strength
The Oilers’ five-on-five metrics have been a little underwhelming over their recent sample. Edmonton has been outplayed in three of their last six, and they’ve posted decreased offensive metrics. McDavid and company have been limited to 19 or fewer scoring chances in three of their past six and seven or fewer high-danger chances in five of six.
The more concerning trend is that the Oilers are getting out-chanced by their opponents, usually by a substantial margin. Over their recent stretch, the Oilers have posted a 44.8% high-danger rate and 49.6% scoring chance rate over their six-game sample. It’s also worth noting that those relative metrics are inflated after getting to beat up on the Arizona Coyotes last time out.
The underlying concerns are punctuated by question marks in net. Mikko Koskinen has posted an .897% save percentage or worse in five straight games, with a cumulative .870% mark over that span. That caused a shift to rookie Stuart Skinner, who is 0-3-0 in three road starts with an .894% save percentage.
Golden Knights Finding Their Stride
The Golden Knights have taken meaningful steps coming into Saturday’s contest. Vegas currently sits 25th in the league with a 47.6% expected goals-for rating at five-on-five. Their position has improved recently, with the Knights outplaying their last three opponents by a combined 58.5% margin. They will have the opportunity to continue those metrics against an Oilers team heading towards regression.
The difference in the Knights metrics has been improved defensive play. Vegas has limited each of their past three opponents to seven high-danger chances and 24 scoring chances or fewer. That’s had a material impact on goals-against, as the Knights have allowed two or fewer in two of three games.
Vegas has also been better offensively, attempting 10 or more quality chances in three of their past four, equalling or out-chancing their opponents in all four games. That’s had a net effect on output, with Vegas out-scoring each of their past four opponents at five-on-five scoring and helping the Knights to wins in three of four.
Oilers vs. Golden Knights Pick
Keeping the Oilers’ offense at bay is no easy feat, but the Golden Knights’ recent success driving play — like they have the last few years — suggests they are up for the challenge.
The difference in tonight’s game is goaltending. Neither Oilers’ goaltender looks good in this spot, while Robin Lehner has posted an above-average save percentage in five of his past eight.
The Knights chance’s exceed the implied probability (54.5%) of the current betting price (-120) in my view. I like Vegas to continue their upward trend and knock off the Oilers at home.
Pick: Golden Knights -120