Oilers vs. Blackhawks: NHL Odds, Betting Preview & Prediction (October 27)
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers.
- The Edmonton Oilers face the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center Thursday night.
- While road teams on the second leg of a back-to-back have been getting crushed so far, the Oilers are huge favorites in this matchup.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down how he's betting tonight's game.
Oilers vs. Blackhawks Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers will head to the United Center for a date with the Chicago Blackhawks, who are in the midst of a stunning four-game winning streak and currently holding down third place in the Central Division.
Rested home teams have been absolutely crushing this season against road sides on leg two of a back-to-back.
With that in mind and Chicago holding a better record, are in Edmonton really worthy of being -200 favorites in this spot?
There aren't a lot of teams where a 4-3-0 start to the season could be considered somewhat disappointing, but for an Oilers team that many believe will finally break through with a Cup Final berth this season, that is exactly the case.
Even still, coming from an Oilers skeptic, 4-3-0 is simply not bad when you look at the notably tough slate of competition faced altogether, and you could even go as to say that's a record few teams could manage to this point.
Edmonton has played the Flames, Hurricanes, Penguins, Blues (twice), and the Sabres. Buffalo is the only side out of that group likely to be below average this season, and even still the Sabres have played to a 4-2-0 record and have looked very respectable.
Edmonton has played to a 50.17 xGF% throughout its opening seven contests, which is a perfectly strong control of the overall play when you have lethal playmakers and finishers who are quite likely to outscore the expected goal production rate.
The Oilers have allowed the league's fifth highest xGA/60 rating of 3.64 this season, but have generated a 3.66 xGF/60 rating themselves, and are again playing notably high event hockey this season.
That is simply the nature of how Edmonton's team is constructed, as the Oilers defensive core will not allow it to be a defensive juggernaut, but that flaw can be hidden by arguably the league's most talented offensive core.
Thursday should make for a great opportunity for Edmonton's team defensive play to look far more reasonable however, and allow Jack Campbell a better chance to find a win than he has had to this point.
Campbell has suffered to a -1.8 goals saved above expected rating with an .895 save % throughout five appearances this season.
Campbell is simply not likely to be a well above average starting option this season, but I would argue that his overall performance is better than those numbers suggest and believe in this spot a stronger stat-line could be likely.
Contrary to the Oilers, Chicago's roster is quite likely to underachieve its expected offensive rates looking towards the actual total of goals on the board, as the roster features very little in the way of finishing talent or elite playmaking ability.
Yet the Blackhawks have scored 4.97 goals above expected this season, which is the most obvious point as to why this team has managed a shockingly strong start, as simply everything is ending up in the net.
Six games is a tiny sample size, and when the team shooting % levels off as it should, we will likely see Chicago's offense look far closer to what we expected entering the season.
Chicago has played to an xGF% of just 44.02, a number which sounds much more in line with what we expect from the Blackhawks notably thin roster.
Another area that the Blackhawks will likely regress heavily is in goal, where Alex Stalock has played to a shockingly strong .938 save percentage and +3.9 goals saved above expected rating this season.
Stalock played to well below average results in the AHL last season, and at age 35 it seems very unlikely such a notable uptick in form is sustainable moving forward.
Oilers vs. Blackhawks Pick
When we really examine everything that has led to Chicago's 4-2-0 record, it is quite clear that very little appears likely to be sustainable moving forward, and that makes me believe that, even as heavy underdogs, Chicago is overvalued to win this game.
Edmonton's modest 4-3-0 record is something which works in our favor as well, and I love that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both noted this summer just how hard it is to even go back to the playoffs.
Nobody in the league can matchup with those two effectively, but Chicago's ability to do so is certainly well below average, and I expect McDavid and Draisaitl to break through with some big performances tonight after a buttoned down affair last night.
At +110 for the Oilers to cover the puck-line in this spot I believe we are getting the right number for Edmonton to expose Chicago Thursday night.
Pick: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 +110 (Play to +100)