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Devils vs. Oilers Odds, Picks, Predictions: Offensive Fireworks on Deck in Edmonton (March 19)

Devils vs. Oilers Odds, Picks, Predictions: Offensive Fireworks on Deck in Edmonton (March 19) article feature image

Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.

  • The Edmonton Oilers host the New Jersey Devils in Saturday's NHL matinee.
  • Connor McDavid and the Oilers are massive ML favorites, but analyst Nicholas Martin has found betting value tied to the game total.
  • Check out below his top pick and why he forecasts plenty of goals.

Devils vs. Oilers Odds

Devils Odds +180
Oilers Odds -225
Over/Under 6.5
Time 3 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Edmonton’s timely four-game winning streak has surged them back into third place in the Pacific Division, which means it will look to finish its crucial homestand at a perfect 5-0 in Saturday’s matinee against New Jersey.

The Devils had offered some more encouraging play of late prior to setting off on this western road swing, but allowed 12 goals combined in losses in Vancouver and Calgary entering this game.

That said, can Edmonton hang another big number on the Devils here? Let’s take a look at this matchup.

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Edmonton Oilers

On March 7, the Oilers suffered a 3-1 loss in a very lackluster battle of Alberta, a game which marked a clear low point in their season.

The defeat had Edmonton sitting outside of the playoff picture, showing a number of notable concerns. Now all of a sudden, Edmonton has rattled off four consecutive wins, which has coincided with a disastrous run from the Vegas Golden Knights.  Edmonton’s playoff hopes are now up to 82.8 percent.

However, I still believe this club holds some legitimate concerns. It seems like every time Edmonton goes on a little run, people can be blind to this and I believe this is a good spot to target those concerns.

Edmonton holds a very shaky goaltending tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen, as well some gettable depth defenders. In short, I still feel the Oilers are good, but not a legitimate contender. Needles to say, I’ll be weary of backing them at massive prices.

Koskinen allowed five goals last time out against the Detroit Red Wings and now holds a -5.6 goals saved above expected rating, with a .904 save % throughout 35 games played.

Smith managed to stop 27 of 28 shots against the Buffalo Sabres, but faced very few chances that should ever actually result in goals. I felt he still looked shaky on a number of the simple mid-range looks.

Smith has played to a -5.1 goals saved above expected rating with an .895 save percentage through 16 games and those numbers certainly line up with the eye test watching his play.

New Jersey Devils

Similar to much of the last two seasons, it has appeared the Devils are analytically due for better results than they have achieved so far this month.

New Jersey hold a strong 53.34 xG rate throughout eight contests played in March, but managed just a 3-5-0 record. A 3.11 goals against per game mark is actually a notable improvement from New Jersey’s season long rate of 3.54, but still a concern.

In contests where New Jersey had the luxury of playing all four of its top offensive drivers — Jesper Bratt, Jack Hughes, Dougie Hamiton and Nico Hischier — the Devils have scored at effective rates and I believe we’ll see them cause problems in Edmonton.

Nico Daws will likely get the start for the Devils. He has been upgrade compared to several net-minding options for New Jersey, but still holds just a .902 save percentage and a -3.3 goals saved above expected rating throughout 14 games.

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Devils vs. Oilers Pick

With what we have consistently seen from these teams, it’s easy for me to see how a matchup is likely to lead to a high-scoring affair.

New Jersey continues to see average to sub-par goaltending, and as you might expect from somewhat on an unproven name in Nico Daws, his play has regressed to an extent.

I still believe that goes hand in hand with the defensive play. In each of the last two seasons, I haven’t found the Devils are as strong in front of their goal as the analytics suggest. They’re liable to allow some very tough chances against that can go under quantified in expected goals data.

So, it’s easy for me to see a group as talented as Edmonton putting up some goals and forcing Daws to make some tough saves. However, the Devils have some very capable scorers and Edmonton is likely to allow this speedy young group a reasonable output.

My favorite play  is the total clearing 6.5 goals at -110 odds and would play it down to -130 odds. I will also note for the crowd that buys in to the “early games cause lower totals” narrative, these two met Dec. 31 in what was an early start in a game that finished with Edmonton earning a 6-5 victory.

In regard to a side, I lean toward New Jersey considering the very long line and that I don’t expect the actual gameplay to be carried by Edmonton. I would say that betting on the Oilers doesn’t seem to hold much value.

Pick: Total Over 6.5 Goals (-110 | Play to -130)

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