Kraken vs. Oilers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Edmonton To Keep Rolling On Road (Dec. 3)
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mikko Koskinen and Leon Draisaitl.
- The Oilers are road favorites as they continue a road trip on Friday night against the Kraken.
- Connor McDavid & Co. have been rolling of late, but both Edmonton and Seattle are battling key injuries.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting prediction.
Kraken vs. Oilers Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Fresh off a four-point night against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Connor McDavid will make his first-ever visit to Climate Pledge Arena on Friday as the Seattle Kraken kick off a four-game homestand with a visit from the Edmonton Oilers.
Both teams are dealing with some key injury absences. A look through the rosters and overall circumstances suggests that the smart money lies with the flash-and-dash visitors.
Kraken Battling Injuries
The Kraken have won four of their last six games. They’re back in Seattle after picking up five of a possible eight points on a road trip that saw them grab wins in Florida and Buffalo, lose in a shootout in Detroit and get shut out in Tampa.
They’ve been putting up solid possession numbers for most of the season; their improved results have been a result of better goaltending from both Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger.
But the injury bug has bitten the Kraken hard, again, at all positions. Driedger is now back on injured reserve. Captain Mark Giordano was on the COVID protocol list for all four games of the road trip. And three important wingers have been sidelined with undisclosed injuries — Jaden Schwartz, Jordan Eberle and Calle Jarnkrok.
Against a top team like Edmonton, those players will be missed.
Oilers Keep Getting The Job Done
Edmonton’s defense has injury issues of its own, but the team continues to roll.
The Oilers have won five of their last six games. On Wednesday, they leapfrogged Calgary to move into first place in the Pacific Division after a 5-2 beatdown of another team that has been playing very well, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Edmonton forward Leon Draisaitl was named the NHL’s first star for the month of November after 15 goals and 27 points in 13 games and a league-leading 41 points for the season. McDavid started off his December with a bang, recording his second four-point night in three games against Pittsburgh and moving within one point of Draisaitl in the scoring race.
Despite all that fire power, the story around the Oilers as a team is still familiar — middling team possession numbers at 5-on-5 that are boosted dramatically by tremendous special teams. The power play is down to a 35.9% success rate, but is still best in the league by a wide margin. Edmonton’s penalty killing is also solid, at 87.7%, and has been perfect in five of the last six games.
The Oilers’ recent success is coming with three key defensemen on the injured list. Darnell Nurse has been out since mid-November with a broken finger. This week, Duncan Keith was also added to the injured list, while Cody Ceci was placed on the COVID protocol list.
Suddenly very young, the re-structured defense has been getting the job done. Kris Russell and Tyson Barrie are doing a lot of the heavy lifting, supported by impressive 22-year-old Evan Bouchard and rookies Philip Broberg and Markus Niemelainen on the third pair.
In net, Mikko Koskinen has backstopped all three wins in the Oilers’ current streak, with a 2.34 goals-against average and .934 save percentage over that stretch.
Oilers vs. Kraken Pick
The Kraken used analytics as a fundamental building block of their franchise, and it shows. They’ve delivered solid possession numbers, even when goaltending and puck luck haven’t gone their way. Lately, the wins have started to come, but they’ll be in tough against the Oilers on Friday.
Travel-wise, Seattle is at a disadvantage — home with just one day’s rest after a road trip that took it across the country for two games in Florida, then a pair up north in Buffalo and Detroit. Edmonton’s most recent trip kept it much closer to home, routing through Dallas, Glendale and Vegas, then back home to Edmonton for one game, before touching down in the Emerald City.
If the Kraken were healthier up front, I’d be looking for them to take a crack at exploiting Edmonton’s young call-up defensemen. But if Schwartz and Eberle remain on the sidelines, scoring could be short supply for Seattle.
Look for McDavid and Draisaitl to do what they do — amass highlight-reel points on the way to another win for the Oil.
Pick: Oilers moneyline (-120); play down to -135.