NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Oilers vs. Blues (April 1)

NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Oilers vs. Blues (April 1) article feature image

Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid

  • The Oilers are short favorites at home against the Blues.
  • Both teams feature strong offenses that lend value to the over.
  • NHL analyst Nicholas Martin explains why it's worth targeting the total below.

Oilers vs. Blues Odds

Oilers Odds-155
Blues Odds+125
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Two of the league's most productive offensive teams will meet Friday as the Oilers will play host to the Blues. Led by the best 1-2 punch in hockey, Edmonton enter this contest in the midst of an 8-2-1 tear, while scoring a whopping 4.72 goals per game.

Will we see another high-flying night at Rogers Place arena Friday?

Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton has consistently played high-scoring contests as of late, with an average of eight goals combined in the Oilers' past 11 games. With the composition of this roster, it's hard for me to see why this trend will change drastically moving forward.

The Oilers have played to an 11th-worst expected goals against per/60 rating over those 11 games, and I do not feel the pieces are in place on this roster to fare much better moving forward this season.

All three defensive pairings feature one well-below average defender with regards to suppressing chances against, and I believe that is a problem which will hold moving forward.

However, Edmonton has fought through its flaws on the back end with the ability to generate a ton of offense. The Oilers have posted a second-best 4.05 xGF/60 mark over the last 11 contests, and as you would expect with the talent on hand, they've paid off those chances with an actual average output of 4.72.

It's unclear whether we will see Mike Smith or Mikko Koskinen get the start for the Oilers here. My belief is that Koskinen has been far sharper, although the current numbers don't indicate too vast of a discrepancy in form.

Smith has played to a -4.4 goals saved above expected rating with an .896 save percentage throughout 19 games played, while Koskinen has played to a -8.5 GSAx with a .902 save percentage throughout 40 games played.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues have actually outscored the Oilers altogether this season, and they offer a similar composition with a very strong offensive core leading the charge towards solid overall results.

St. Louis' excellent offensive output has been achieved much more by committee than the Oilers. The Blues feature a very deep top nine upfront, and they have the ability to configure three lines very capable of doing damage.

However, the Blues have allowed a ton of chances recently, but they've received elite goaltending from Ville Husso which has helped to cover that flaw.

Over the last 10 games the Blues have allowed a third-worst xGA/60 rate of 3.57, and they have consistently been poor on the defensive end this season.

The talent on hand should allow St. Louis to improve from that lowly mark moving forward, but it's still safe to say the Blues are far from the defensive juggernaut we have seen in previous seasons.

The Blues play Saturday in Calgary and I think we could see Husso rest for that contest, but the confirmation towards that will be something worth monitoring tomorrow.

Husso has dominated this season playing to a +14.7 goals saved above expected rating with a .923 save percentage through 30 games played.  Jordan Binnington has not fared nearly as well, playing to a -6.3 GSAx with a .901 save percentage through 30 games played.

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Oilers vs. Blues Pick

Both of these clubs have offered less than dominant defensive play this season, but they have posted elite offensive play and have been consistent in that regard as of late.

Each has played contests averaging well past 6.5 goals over the last month, and analytically they are playing very high-event games which suggests that trend can continue.

We know that Edmonton will likely need to outscore higher goals against totals moving forward to win games against more talented sides, as it is hard to see this group shutting down stronger offensive teams with Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith in goal.

This looks like another spot where Edmonton will likely need to score 4-5 goals should it hope to win, as St. Louis scoring three-plus seems a strong possibility.

To see St. Louis keep this Edmonton offense in check would be surprising too,  however, especially should we get a break and see a Binnington start. We know Binnington will play one contest of the Blues weekend back-to-back, so ideally it's here.

Either way, I see enough value to back the over 6.5 at -110 now, as even if this goaltending matchup ends up being Koskinen vs Husso, I think that number will hold.

However, should the matchup end up being Binnington vs Koskinen, or possibly Binnington vs Smith, we should gain a fair amount of closing line value locking that in early.

Pick: Over 6.5 -110 (Play to -120)

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