NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Coyotes vs. Oilers (March 28)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid.
- The Oilers are heavy home favorites tonight against the Coyotes.
- Arizona is one of the league's worst teams and the perfect opponent for Edmonton, which needs to bounce back from an embarrassing defeat.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Coyotes vs. Oilers Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After an embarrassing defeat Saturday in Alberta which had Flames fans chanting “We want 10,” Edmonton will set it’s sights on the lowly Coyotes looking for a crucial bounce-back performance.
Arizona put together a scrappy effort last night in Winnipeg and played the role of spoiler, although it ended in a hard-fought battle in overtime.
Can the Coyotes give similar problems to the Oilers?
Edmonton fell yet again Saturday night to an elite Flames team that continues to rise to the occasion against its Alberta rivals this season.
The loss was the Oilers’ third in four games last week, but I would suggest Edmonton played better than a 1-2-1 record suggests. That makes me believe this sets up as a great get right spot against more manageable competition.
Edmonton have covered five straight puck lines on home ice, winning by an average goal differential of +3.2 over that span.
The Oilers have fallen into a rhythm of comfortably handling easier competition, with their elite offensive players thriving when given a better control of the run of play and able to play in the offensive zone more so.
This sets up as a great spot for that trend to continue. I imagine this Oilers squad, which is desperate to return to the postseason, can control much of the play against Arizona skating in a back-to-back spot.
Over the last seven games, Edmonton has played to a 55.02 expected goals rate. I imagine it’ll comfortably control the play here, especially with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman back in the lineup, which gives the Oilers three units capable of scoring.
The main concern for Edmonton is goaltending since it’s clear that the duo of Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith is simply well below average. I truly can’t see how Stuart Skinner has not been given a shot of late, given what he showed earlier in the season.
Mike Smith is likely to start here and has struggled to a -4.2 Goals Saved Above Expected rating (GSAx) with an .896 save percentage in 19 games this season.
A hot stretch which saw some improved results and several explosive offensive night’s from this very barren Coyotes roster seems to have come and gone.
Over the last few weeks Arizona has been heavily outplayed to the tune of a dreadful 35.27 expected goals rate over its last eight games, during which it’s 2-5-1.
The small upswing prior to this poor run of play seems nothing more than a natural ebb-and-flow in a close league, and it seems that the 32nd-ranked Coyotes are still playing near that level.
Karel Vejmelka will likely start for the Coyotes between the pipes, but a debut from Olympic champion Harri Sateri is a possibility. Confirmation on the starting goaltending choice should come after morning skate.
Coyotes vs. Oilers Pick
Edmonton has been playing some very good hockey altogether under coach Jay Woodcroft. I believe we will the Oilers bounce-back with a big performance here after somewhat of an embarrassing loss to Calgary.
I expect to see Edmonton control far more of the play here and manage to create a lot of high-danger chances, which its elite scorers should turn into a strong offensive output.
The Oilers’ goaltending situation is concerning, however I am willing to risk that considering how listless the Coyotes attack has looked over the last several weeks.
I am going to back the Oilers -1.5 at -140, and would play that down to -150.
Pick: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 (-140)