NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Oilers vs Hurricanes Pick (Wednesday, November 22)
Via Josh Lavallee/Getty Images. Pictured: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PNC Arena on November 18, 2023 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Oilers vs. Hurricanes Odds
Here's everything you need to know about Oilers vs. Hurricanes on Wednesday, Nov. 22 — our expert NHL preview and prediction.
Switching coaches might have given the Oilers a small boost, but it hasn't solved their fundamental problem.
The Hurricanes have issues of their own though, but can the Oilers capitalize on those shortcomings?
Let's preview the NHL odds, as well as my betting pick and prediction for Oilers vs. Hurricanes.
While many were optimistic about the Oilers entering the season, there was always an underlying risk with them.
Their offensive last year relied in no small part on career seasons out of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman coupled with Connor McDavid recording an incredible 153 points and Leon Draisaitl finishing not too far behind at 128.
A lack of scoring depth behind those four and Evander Kane meant that any regression would be hard to overcome. For example, McDavid playing like a mere normal star – six goals and 15 points through 15 contests – coupled with Nugent-Hopkins returning to his pre-2022-23 levels are big issues.
However, Edmonton's goaltending is an even bigger problem.
Jack Campbell's five-year, $25 million contract was an immediate misfire, and that alone might have sunk the Oilers last year if not for the solid play of Stuart Skinner. However, that was Skinner's first campaign as an NHL starter, so betting on him to repeat that performance was a risk, and sure enough, it's a gamble that hasn't paid off.
Edmonton ranks 30th in goals allowed per game (3.88) despite being a respectable 12th in xGA (52.6). In other words, while Edmonton's overall defense might take a lot of heat for its play, goaltending is the main issue, including Skinner, who has a 3.39 GAA and an .873 save percentage.
Edmonton's issues didn't come out of nowhere, but the Oilers are looking at Draisaitl's contract expiring in the summer of 2025 and McDavid's coming up a year after that, and they recognize that they can't just accept this as a loss and retool. Edmonton needs to stay in win-now mode, so Campbell was stored in the AHL while coach Jay Woodcroft was fired 13 contests into the campaign in favor of Kris Knoblauch.
The coaching change was followed by two straight wins for Edmonton – and three consecutive victories, including Woodcroft's final game – but the honeymoon didn't last long. The Oilers have lost their last two games while allowing 11 goals over that span.
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Without Frederik Andersen (blood clots), Carolina has had some goaltending issues of its own.
Antti Raanta has an .885 save percentage, which would represent a career low if the season ended today, and Pyotr Kochetkov is even worse with an .876 save percentage. To put that into context, Carolina's goaltending save percentage of .878 ranks 29th in the league, only modestly besting the Oilers' league-low .867.
Carolina has hidden this problem because its blue line is among the best in the business. Carolina ranks third in xGA (48.47) and first in Shots Against per Game (26.0). That defense is essentially the whole reason the Hurricanes have a respectable 10-7-0 record.
No member of the squad places in the scoring race's top 60, though there is some depth here with eight players who have reached double-digit points. By contrast, Edmonton has five players who would at least tie for Carolina's points lead, but the Oilers' goals per game are still lower (Edmonton's at 2.94 to Carolina's 3.24) because they don't have that same degree of secondary scoring.
If the 2023-24 Hurricanes are largely a one-dimensional, defense-driven team, Edmonton hasn't demonstrated that there is any dimension to its game at all. Even with one of the best forward groups in the league, each aspect of the Oilers' game ranges from middling to poor.
Under Knoblauch, Edmonton's offense has at least shown signs of rebounding with 15 goals over four games, but the fundamental goaltending questions remain.
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Still, Edmonton isn't treated like a 5-11-1 team by oddsmakers. Carolina is priced as the favorite, but taking the Hurricanes on FanDuel's puck line at -1.5 goals in favor of Carolina offers a potential payout of +160.
That's great value given the Oilers' struggles.
If you want a potentially safer option, consider taking the over 6.5 goals. With Edmonton's offense ticking up and both goaltending units floundering, this will be a reasonably high-scoring game.