NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canucks vs. Oilers (October 12)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canucks vs. Oilers (October 12) article feature image

Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images). Pictured: Connor McDavid.

  • The Oilers are home favorites against the Canucks on opening night.
  • The Canucks were trending in the right direction in the latter half of last season, but is there any value in backing them here at plus-money?
  • Nick Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Canucks vs. Oilers Odds

Canucks Odds+165
Oilers Odds-195
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Edmonton Oilers enter the 2022-23 season with lofty expectations after Connor McDavid, the game's top player, led them on a run to the Western Conference Final in last year's playoffs.

Vancouver had a nightmare start to last season before Bruce Boudreau took over as bench boss and guided the Canucks to a 35-15-10 record. The Canucks ultimately fell just short of the postseason after digging too deep of an early hole.

Will Edmonton's superstars shine on opening night at home, or can the Canucks garner two crucial points to start the season?

The must-have app for NHL bettors

The best NHL betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Canucks Offense Will Need to Make Up for Defensive Weaknesses

The Canucks have one of the widest range of outcomes of any NHL team this season.

On one hand, it's possible this team could return to the playoffs and take strides forward, so let's consider this scenario.

One of the most consistent trends from highly successful NHL rosters throughout the salary cap era has been a strong 1-2 punch at the center ice position, and the Canucks hold that this season with the duo of J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson.

Pettersson was a shell of his former self in the early going last season before regaining some confidence under Boudreau and finishing the year in far better form.

When true to form, Pettersson's vision and playmaking ability are special, and at age 23, he clearly still holds the upside to be a top 10-15 center in the league this season. He will play at a point-per-game level this year.

Brock Boeser, Andrei Kuzmenko, Nils Hoglander, Vasili Podkolzin, and Connor Garland make up a sneaky deep and talented unit of wingers. Overall I am high on Vancouver's offensive unit, although a clear lack of puck-moving talent on the back end may not entirely allow this offensive corps to reach its full potential.

Vancouver's Power Play ran at a stellar clip of 26.5% under Bruce Boudreau last season, which was not entirely surprising with the talent on hand, and the unit should be an area of strength this season.

It's also worth noting that Kuzmenko looked very sharp playing on the top unit throughout the preseason and could be a strong fantasy pickup in deeper leagues/DFS in the early going. He's also someone whose prop totals I will be watching carefully.

Most importantly, the Canucks hold one of the league's better netminders in Thatcher Demko. He was spectacular last season on route to a +10.9 Goals Saved Above Expected rating (GSAx) and .915 save percentage, and we will see Demko start Wednesday.

This brings us to what will likely be the Canucks' clear flaw, which is their thin defensive unit.

The Canucks defense will likely shake out similarly to last season, and outside of the fantastic play from Quinn Hughes, it features very little to write home about.

Wednesday's game in particular could prove to be quite a challenge as Tyler Myers and Travis Dermott will be sidelined due to injury.

Although I am not overly high on Myers, he is still better than alternative options on the Canucks roster, and his absence does move the needle based upon replacement value.

Oilers Led by Elite Center Duo

The Oilers have become a trendy Cup pick entering this season, and seeing two of the best in the world in McDavid and Leon Draisaitl win it all would surely be a captivating end to the NHL season.

The Canucks' 1-2 punch at center of Miller and Pettersson simply can't hold a candle to the Oilers' duo of McDavid and Draisaitl, who are undoubtedly the best center duo in the league.

With rookie Dylan Holloway likely to be a useful addition at the NHL level and Evander Kane resigned, the Oilers' forward corps could be deeper than we have usually seen outside of its two superstars.

However, Edmonton's ability to suppress opposing offense may not be as strong as advertised, and Jack Campbell may not be the savior in goal.

Campbell flamed out after a stellar start to the season in Toronto last year, posting a -2.3 GSAx rating behind what was analytically, and to my eye, a very respectable Leafs club defensively.

Perhaps playing with less pressure and on a new squad may help Campbell play at his highest level again. However, I am certainly less of a believer than most that Campbell will be the guy to take Edmonton to the next level.

Stuart Skinner will play the backup role, and I am actually rather high on his potential this season. There is a realistic world where he uproots Campbell as the starter.

Defensively, Edmonton should ice one of the better units seen over the McDavid era, but I am still skeptical that this unit is on par with those of true cup contending teams.

Canucks vs. Oilers Pick

Wednesday's contest may prove the perfect spot for Vancouver's weak back-end to be exposed against a high powered Oilers club while likely skating without Myers and Dermott.

That could lead to exactly the kind of chances that even Demko cannot keep at bay and likely a solid Oilers output on opening night led by McDavid and Draisaitl.

However, I am unconvinced on Campbell being a strong starting option in net, and Edmonton could allow more chances than many expect in front of goal.

Vancouver has a strong offensive corps and what should likely be a top-10 Power Play this season, and I believe that the Canucks can manage some offense in this spot.

If the Canucks creep closer to +180, I might look to get involved with them as a side, but for the time being, my favorite play is Over 6.5 at +100. Play that down to -105 on opening night in Edmonton.

Pick: Over 6.5 +100 (Play to -105),

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.