NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Oilers vs. Kings (February 15)
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.
- The Kings host the Oilers as short home favorites on Tuesday night.
- Is there value on Mike Smith and the Oilers at plus money?
- Nick Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Oilers vs. Kings Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Edmonton heads to Los Angeles on Tuesday looking to remained undefeated under interim head coach Jay Woodcroft after Monday’s 3-0 win against San Jose. The Oilers will face the Kings, who are as playing following a 13-day break.
That said, will Los Angeles be able to keep Edmonton’s talented attack at bay coming off that lengthy layoff?
The Oilers might have been due for somewhat better results to begin with prior to former head coach Dave Tippett’s dismissal. However, they’ve have won back-to-back games under Woodcroft, and as we have seen twice before, teams can certainly receive a notable boost from a firing
Edmonton put together a very sharp effort against San Jose, controlling much of the play and allowing its foe few opportunities to cut into the lead, finishing with 3.97-1.92 edge in expected goals in another improved defensive performance.
The result was the first career shutout for Sean Skinner. And that didn’t look great on Tippett, who chose to sit Skinner in favor of playing 39-year-old Mike Smith on back-to-back nights in the game which ultimately led to his dismissal.
Prior to the Oilers’ strong performance, they had controlled play to an xG share of 53.39% over their last eight contests. So to some extent, they might have been likely to fare somewhat better of late, although their goaltending always projects below average.
The newly formed second pairing of William Lagesson and Cody Ceci put up an utterly absurd xG score of 99.2% against the Sharks. They could offer somewhat of an upgrade with Duncan Keith now on the sideline, as it’s a realistic possibility Lagesson could outperform the play of his 38-year-old teammate in that spot.
The Oilers never project to be a defensive juggernaut, but improved play would go a long way to helping the team trend upward results wise, as this roster is going to be able to score effectively most nights.
Mike Smith, who should get the start in goal, was strong last time out in stopping 37 of 38 shots faced against the Islanders. However, he has struggled altogether this season with a -3.2 goals saved above expected rating and a .901 save % through just nine games.
Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles were a trendy pick to return to the postseason, having made some quality offseason additions in Philip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson, plus a number of young players likely candidates to make a difference at this level.
The results have been strong, and I’m not going to try to reduce their play to try to further my point toward my play on this game.
However, this does set up as a tough spot, playing a fast and talented Edmonton group coming off a lengthy layoff, which as we have seen of late can lead to shakier defensive play. The Kings’ greatest strength, though, is the fact they’ve allowed the league’s eighth-best goals for per game (2.72) this season.
As well, key defenders Matt Roy and Mikey Anderson will enter having had even longer layoffs, should the latter be able to return from the injured reserve for the contest.
Offensively, Los Angeles clearly holds less in the way of elite talent than Edmonton, generating just the league’s 20th-best output, but hold another edge over its for in regard to net-minding options.
Jonathon Quick should get the start, and has been excellent behind a sharp defensive club, stopping 15.3 goals saved above expected with a .912 save % throughout 28 games played this season.
Oilers vs. Kings Pick
This game projects to be quite close down the stretch, particularly if the Oilers can get breakeven goaltending. That’s especially the case should Edmonton continue to trend upward skating under Woodcroft or if Evander Kane can help balance the lines with some production.
This could set up as a tough spot for Los Angeles to find its legs, facing an Oilers team clearly skating with some more energy since Tippett’s departure, be it somewhat of a placebo boost or not.
Backing Smith is somewhat of a scary proposition, but how Edmonton has been playing of late, I feel that +120 odds is still a number holding value. And Smith enters this game off a sharp outing last time out against the Islanders.
I expect Edmonton to create a good amount of chances, and with its defense having looked sharper of late, that could certainly give them a better chance than this price suggests.
Pick: Edmonton ML (+120 | Play to +100)
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