Oilers vs. Bruins Betting Odds, Pick, Predictions: Back Steady Boston at Home
Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Patrice Bergeron.
- Updated Bruins vs. Oilers odds list Boston as a -140 favorite, up five cents from last night. The total has also dropped from 6.5 to 6.
- Boston has been steady as ever this season and despite a 6-4 record, the Bruins lead the league in expected goal share.
- Get Nicholas Martin's pick and preview for Bruins vs. Oilers below.
Oilers vs. Bruins Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM, updated at 2:30 p.m. ET. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will look to continue their otherworldly offensive paces on Thursday night against their toughest test to date in a Boston Bruins team that has again been arguably the NHL’s best defensive unit this season.
Both teams are considered by many to be legitimate cup contenders this season, but which can we expect to make a big statement on Thursday night?
Will Oilers Stay This Hot?
Behind some ludicrous offensive results, the Edmonton Oilers are off to a 9-2 start to the year. While some see championship potential in this team, the cracks of a shaky defensive core and goaltending duo are starting to show. I feel those situations will worsen when the team faces tougher competition.
The Oilers have altogether faced softer offensive competition in the early going this season, playing a number of games against teams likely to finish in the bottom third in offensive output. Edmonton has still posted the NHL’s second-worst expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) mark at 2.83.
I stand by my preseason belief that a second pairing of Duncan Keith and Cody Ceci is going to have some rough nights this season, while Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie will continue to struggle when not on the ice with McDavid or Draisaitl.
I also expect the goaltending results to regress, particularly from Mikko Koskinen. A .920 save percentage is still markedly better than his career average of .908. While goaltending is very much a guessing game year to year, I still believe it’s much more reasonable to expect regression than for him to continue posting career-best numbers.
Koskinen will likely start Thursday after sitting on Tuesday night against Detroit, and with Mike Smith still on the IR.
Bruins Doing Bruin-Like Things
Boston has posted spectacular results every year under coach Bruce Cassidy and is off to a very strong start again this season. The Bruins are 6-4-0, having played some very stiff competition and owning the league’s best expected goals for percentage (xGF%) mark at 57.54.
The defense core is altogether spectacular. In over 89 minutes together, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk own the league’s best xGF% at 74.6% (minimum 50 minutes), while Mike Reilly, Connor Clifton and company have been excellent in support behind them.
The perfection line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak has been very strong yet again in the early going, controlling play with a 64.9 xGF% mainly against the opposition’s top units. That trio will be part of Boston’s efforts to contain McDavid and Draisaitl.
Linus Ullmark has been confirmed as the starter between the pipes for Boston, as he looks to bounce back after a 5-2 loss in Toronto on Saturday night.
Ullmark has posted a .918 save percentage and -1.9 goals saved above expected (GSAx) over five games this season.
Oilers vs. Bruins Pick
It’s always going to be scary betting against the Oilers this season, particularly with Edmonton’s power play sitting at an absurd 46.9%. I do expect Boston’s defensive depth to show through as a big advantage here, and I feel that the Bruins are likely to control more of the play at 5-on-5 and make it a tough game for McDavid and Draisaitl.
With home-ice advantage and therefore last change, Cassidy will be able to keep their elite two defensive pairings against McDavid and Draisaitl, as well as the perfection line, which has consistently shut down the opposition’s top units over a sample size of multiple seasons.
I also feel that Ullmark offers an advantage compared to Koskinen with regards to the starting goaltenders, even if in the early going this season the numbers wouldn’t give that indication.
I see value in backing Boston at home here with value at -135 and would play it to -145.
Pick: Bruins -135 (Play to -145)
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