Golden Knights vs. Oilers Odds, Picks: Why to Bet the Over (February 8)
Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Max Pacioretty.
- The Edmonton Oilers host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night in a what is priced as a close matchup.
- Are the Oilers dangerous enough to beat the division-leading Knights after their improved play recently?
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup below and shares his best bet.
Golden Knights vs. Oilers Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-120|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Oilers have broken out of a 2-12-1 run of play with wins in five of six contests and will look to build on that strong stretch as they host division rival Vegas Tuesday night.
Edmonton will have a chance to prove they are truly turning the corner here against some formidable competition in the division leading Knights. Will they be able to do so?
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights have managed key player absences, and the mood around the Golden Knights coming out the All-Star break seems to be rightfully very positive. They have likely fought through the worst of their tough injury luck and are now getting ready for a big push toward the playoffs in a season with realistic cup aspirations.
Vegas has produced a notably high xGF/60 of 3.06 over its last seven contests, and with Chandler Stephenson returning to practice Monday. the forward group should be as close to full strength as we have seen this season. It is reasonable to expect that xGF/60 number to hold, if not improve, moving forward, especially when Jack Eichel makes his debut later this month.
Max Pacioretty has clearly been a huge spark for this offense and power play when in the lineup, with 12 goals and 23 points in 19 games this season. He offers a massive boost in his return to the lineup if he can find the strong form seen much of this season.
Robin Lehner has been true to form this season, posting a strong +10.4 Goals Saved Above Expected rating with a .910 Save % through 33 games played this season.
Edmonton has broken through with some better results after a very tough run throughout most of the season’s second quarter. The Oilers have won five of six and have captain Connor McDavid claiming, “everyone’s got their mojo back”.
But are the Oilers really a true contender? To me it still seems like quite a stretch, and their run of better results has mainly included wins in very favorable spots and over weaker competition.
This team still seems destined to go only as far as the insanely talented top duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can drag them. It’s an easy argument to say that the defensive talent on hand and goaltending duo of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen lags well behind that of a true contender, and those concerns will be exposed again in time.
Offensively, the Oilers can hang around the upper third production wise as the year moves along, but they will always be fighting to outscore their average goaltending and defensive play.
Mike Smith was activated from the IR Monday, and it’s unclear which leg of the Oilers’ back-to-back situation he will start. However, it’s unlikely he will replicate last year’s strong results this season, and the gap between the two isn’t significant.
Smith holds a -3.7 Goals Saved Above Expected rating with an .898 Save % throughout a tiny sample of six games played this season. Koskinen sits with a -8.7 GSAx and .900 Save % in 26 games played this year.
Golden Knights-Oilers Pick
Edmonton’s offensive play has improved over the last six games, averaging 4.16 goals for per game over that time. That strong offensive production should continue moving forward with this talented offensive roster, particularly if Evander Kane can continue to produce at a strong rate.
However, the Oilers’ back end continues to be concerning, and their recent success has more to do with the competition faced and favorable spots. The Oilers are unlikely to be above average with their ability to keep the puck out of their net in the long term.
Vegas hold a more than capable offensive group and should be skating at closer to full health here than we have seen much of this season, a year in which they have still produced goals at the league’s eighth-best rate of 3.35 per game.
However the Knights have been far from defensive stalwarts themselves, having succeeded in spite of allowing the league’s 14th-most goals against per game playing what has been a notably up tempo style of hockey.
Altogether, an opening line of 6 doesn’t properly price these teams’ higher averages, and this game should be opening at 6.5 in a spot where both clubs can score three or more goals a lot of the time.
Consequently, my favorite play on this one is with the over 6 at -115, and would play up to a total of six all the way down to -145. I expect to see a total of 6.5 posted most places by game time.
I also lean towards Vegas as a side and would be weary of backing the Oilers most nights against true contenders moving forward. It’s worth monitoring to see if Vegas’ price gets a little better here, too.
Pick: Over 6 -115 (Play up to 6 at -145)
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