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NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Oilers vs. Canadiens (Jan. 29)

NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Oilers vs. Canadiens (Jan. 29) article feature image
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Codie McLachlan/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid.

  • The Oilers are big road favorites tonight in Montreal.
  • While the Canadiens seem hopeless this season, the Oilers' offensive metrics indicate room for improvement.
  • Grant White breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick for bettors below.

Oilers vs. Canadiens Odds

Oilers Odds -235
Canadiens Odds +200
Over/Under 6.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Things can’t get much worse for the Montreal Canadiens, who have just eight wins through the first 42 games of the season. They welcome an Edmonton Oilers team that has won three straight, moving it within striking distance of a playoff spot.

Still, the betting market underestimates the Oilers’ chances of making it four in a row even though they’re a big favorite.

Oilers’ Improved Metrics Say Results Will Come

The key to the Oilers’ success is getting their offense going, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen from them over their recent sample.

Edmonton has attempted 10 or more high-danger chances at 5-on-5 in three of its past four while attempting 30 scoring chances in each of its previous two outings. We’re expecting more of the same from them on Saturday night, albeit with increased output as goalscoring remains slightly deflated.

Even though the Oilers have increased their production metrics, that hasn’t yet impacted output. Connor McDavid and company are below their season-long shooting percentage at 5-on-5 in four straight games, scoring on just 5.0% of shots. That has dragged their PDO down even further as the Oilers are now sitting at 0.988, 27th in the league.

Edmonton is getting the metrics working in its favor. Now, it’s time for the results to follow.

The increased underlying metrics have shifted the expected goals ratings in the Oilers’ direction. Edmonton has outplayed three of its past four opponents, with positive relative metrics stretching back to seven of the previous 10 games.

Similar to goalscoring, the results have not yet caught up with the Oilers. They have just three wins over their 10-game sample, despite outplaying their opponents on seven occasions. More wins will follow as Edmonton continues to assert itself offensively.

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Canadiens Continue Disappointing Season

No team has been worse than the Habs this season.

Montreal has the worst points percentage in the NHL, just a few months after making a run to the Stanley Cup Final. The Canadiens’ metrics continue to falter, making the rest of the season nothing more than a formality.

The Habs have posted the fourth-worst expected goals-for rating at 5-on-5 this season, dragging their season-long percentage down even further over their recent stretch. Montreal has posted a rating of 39.1% over its last six games, getting outplayed on five occasions. The only time its rating climbed above 50.0% was when they hosted the Ducks, who were on the second night of a back-to-back.

Montreal’s undoing has been its poor defensive zone coverage. The Canadiens have allowed 10 or more high-danger and 28 or more scoring opportunities in five of its past nine, with rolling averages of 11.6 and 27.0, respectively. The Canadiens offense isn’t keeping pace with their opponents, as they’ve out-chanced their opponents just twice over their nine-game sample.

Things aren’t looking good for the Habs, and there’s not much reason to be optimistic.

Oilers vs. Canadiens Pick

Montreal is coming unglued, and we just passed the season’s halfway point. The Habs have been ineffective at preventing scoring opportunities when the Oilers are improving their metrics.

A matchup with the Canadiens could be what’s needed to boost Edmonton’s output, since the metrics support the theory that increased scoring is coming.

We’re anticipating a strong showing from the Oilers tonight and are backing them on the moneyline.

Pick: Oilers -235

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