NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Oilers vs. Kraken
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid
- The Kraken host the Oilers in a Western Conference tilt on Friday night.
- Edmonton has been playing well of late and is looking to win back-to-back games.
- Carol Schram digs into the odds and offers up her best bet below.
Oilers vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
We’re not even into 2023, but the stakes are already rising in the NHL’s Western Conference.
The Edmonton Oilers roll into Climate Pledge Arena on Friday night tied with the Seattle Kraken in the standings. Both teams have 40 points, but because the Kraken have played three fewer games, they’re sitting in a wild card spot while the Oilers are on the wrong side of the playoff cutline.
Here’s the latest on the Oilers and the Kraken, and your best bet for the game.
It’s no secret the Oilers boast the NHL’s two top-scoring forwards, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Both have won scoring titles in their careers, and are on track to hit new highs this season.
So are two of Edmonton’s other top-six forwards, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman. Add it up and the Oilers are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league, averaging 3.56 goals per game — even with Evander Kane still on the sidelines following wrist surgery.
Much of that production comes with the man advantage. Edmonton’s power play is the best in the league, clicking at 32.3%. A league-leading 42 goals have come with the man advantage — nearly one-third of the Oilers’ total production.
As dangerous as they are with the man advantage, the Oilers are in the lower half of the league in terms of puck possession at 5-on-5. The penalty kill has been a weakness, successful just 72.5% of the time.
Rookie Stuart Skinner has offered important relief in the crease with 2.5 goals save above expected and an 11-9-1 record in 22 games. Jack Campbell sits at minus-10.8 goals above expected in 15 games.
Outside of their top scorers, the Oilers haven’t gotten much offense from their supporting cast of forwards or from their blue line.
The Oilers are 5-3-2 in their past 10 games and are well rested. In their only game since the holiday break, they squeaked out a 2-1 regulation win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.
After cruising through the first two months of the season, it has been a bit of a December to forget for the Seattle Kraken. On the first day of the month, they beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 in overtime. But since that seven-game winning streak ended, the Kraken have gone 3-6-1 and slipped back to the rest of the pack in the Pacific Division.
Their past two losses have both been to division rivals — 3-2 to Calgary on Wednesday and 6-5 in a shootout against Vancouver before the holiday break. In both cases, Seattle was unable to successfully defend a lead.
But it’s not all doom and gloom in the rainy Pacific Northwest. With just 33 games played, Seattle’s .606 points percentage is actually second best in its division, behind only the Vegas Golden Knights. The Kraken are good at 5-on-5, ranked 12th in the NHL with an expected goals share of 51.65%. They’re also pretty strong offensively, just behind the Oilers with 3.48 goals scored per game. The difference is their offense is much more unpredictable — seven Seattle forwards have at least eight goals, and 12 players have 15 points or more.
In net, the Kraken are seeing better performances than they did last year, with both Martin Jones and Philipp Grubauer performing at close to expected levels. But both stoppers have save percentages below .900, and while Jones has strung together an impressive 14-5-3 record, Grubauer is 3-6-1.
Oilers vs. Kraken Pick
There’s one other area where Seattle struggles: the penalty kill. The Kraken’s 69.2% success rate is second-worst in the NHL and the past four games have been worse, with five goals surrendered in 13 shorthanded situations — a success rate of just 61.5%.
That’s bad news when McDavid and the Oilers come to town.
This will be the first of four meetings this season between these Pacific Division foes. Last year, Edmonton went 2-1-0 against Seattle and was 3-for-11 with the man advantage over those three games.
Some sites have this game set at even odds, but FanDuel has the Oilers as road underdogs — and that’s a solid betting opportunity.
Grab McDavid and company to steal two points in the Emerald City.
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