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NHL Odds & Pick for Senators vs. Oilers: Market Shows Ottawa No Respect (Wednesday, March 10)

NHL Odds & Pick for Senators vs. Oilers: Market Shows Ottawa No Respect (Wednesday, March 10) article feature image

Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Joey Daccord.

  • After bouncing back from a three-game trouncing at the hands of Toronto, Edmonton looks to stay hot against the Senators.
  • After some horrendous goaltending to start the season, Ottawa has bounced back and appears to be better value than the market is giving it credit for.
  • Matt Russell explains why that's the case and how he's backing the Senators.

Senators vs. Oilers Odds

Senators Odds +220
Oilers Odds -265
Over/Under 6.5
Time 8 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday night and via DraftKings.

Nobody wanted the Ottawa Senators when they visited Edmonton for a pair of games at the end of January. Perhaps because their underdog price wasn’t juicy enough, especially considering it looked like their goaltenders were at times trying to evade the puck when it was shot at them in those matchups. 

Even though the Senators were good enough for 4.5 expected goals at even-strength to the Oilers’ 2.68, they didn’t win either game, and neither was particularly close. So those willing to pass on the underdog Senators were rewarded by their patience.

The two teams have met up three times since then, and each time the Oilers have won. On Wednesday, the Senators look to break through for their first win of the season over Edmonton, and there’s reason to believe they may finally get it.

Ottawa Senators

The Senators showed up to Edmonton a day after playing the Flames to a shootout victory, concluding a five-game series with the Flames, in which Ottawa took three of five from Calgary.

Perhaps, the Oilers thanked the Sens for beating their arch-rivals by spotting them an early goal to the Senators on Monday night. Unfortunately for Ottawa, that goal in the first minute was the high point.

The Senators were in a tough spot on the backend of a back-to-back in which they were required to participate. In the limited sample size we’ve had this season, when one team is on its second game in two nights and the other isn’t, the team on short rest has won just once out of 10 instances where this has occurred. 

While they lost the game 3-2, there were actually plenty of positives for Ottawa. Firstly, for a second time, they showed they could rally around young goaltender Joey Daccord, who wasn’t supposed to be in the Sens’ plans this season, but has seen time since the backup, Marcus Hogberg, got hurt.

The second positive is the play from Daccord, who if he’s not careful is going to find himself as the full-time backup in Ottawa with more good spots starts.

Even though he’s played well, Daccord is looking for his first win, which means improved play from starter Matt Murray is the main cause of this improvement.

After a disastrous start to the Senators’ season, thanks in large part to bad goaltending, they’re actually 7-6 on the moneyline in their last 13 games.

The Senators are still rarely the better team on a night-to-night basis, but they’re no longer overmatched for the majority of the game and their young talent is converting on their even-strength High-Danger Chances (HDC) more frequently. Ottawa has scored on 14 of its last 93 HDC after converting 14 of 138 to start the season. 

Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.

Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.

xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.

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Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers took advantage of the Senators to the tune of 13 HDC while 5-on-5, which was the most Ottawa had given up in 10 games. While they only converted one of those into a goal, a power play goal, and got another on a more innocuous play, it was enough to give the Oilers their second straight win to go with their dramatic win over the aforementioned Flames on Saturday.

The two victories have put a tourniquet on the bleeding in Edmonton, after the Maple Leafs came to town last week and hammered the Oilers for three games.

Even though the Oilers have won their last two, they do have a concerning tendency to give up the first goal. After getting scored on early in all three games against the Leafs, the Flames scored first on Saturday and, as mentioned, the Senators got on the board in the first minute of the opener of this three-game set.

We’ve previously detailed in this space about how the time to take advantage of the Senators is early and how they become dangerous if you don’t when the game is close, especially if the game goes to overtime or the shootout. Naturally, when Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are on your team, you worry less about the post-regulation coin-flip situations.  

McDavid and Draisaitl appear to have taken getting shut down by Maple Leafs personally, as McDavid has five points in his last two games and Draisaitl scored on Monday. The Oilers’ success is directly tied to their production, so getting them fired back up may mean trouble for Ottawa.

Betting Analysis & Pick

The Senators more than +200 are still being priced like they’re the team that started the season 2-12, not the team that has been over .500 during the last few weeks. In fact, during that horrific stretch, the Sens’ moneyline price averaged just +180 in their previous games in Edmonton.

Now, Ottawa is playing better and its price is higher? It doesn’t add up for me so I’ll take a flyer with the plucky Sens to see if they can get a win here.

If not, I’ll be back on them at this juicy price for the finale later in the week.

Pick: Senators +220 (+200 or better)

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