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NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Oilers vs. Senators (Jan. 31)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Oilers vs. Senators (Jan. 31) article feature image
Credit:

David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Evander Kane.

  • Edmonton searches for its fifth straight win when it hits the road to Ottawa.
  • The Senators already topped the Oilers 6-4 earlier this month but are +150 home dogs.
  • Nicholas Martin breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.

Oilers vs. Senators Odds

Oilers Odds -175
Senators Odds +150
Over/Under 6.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After an embarrassing 6-0 thrashing at the hands of the Panthers, which ended with multiple jerseys being thrown on the ice, the Oilers have pushed forward with four consecutive wins and are now back in the Western Conference playoffs on points percentage.

They will head to Ottawa looking to avenge a 6-4 home defeat earlier in the month and hoping for two needed points from a Sens team missing two of its top forwards in Josh Norris and Drake Batherson that combined for two goals and an assist in that win.

Is this a good recipe for Edmonton to again hide its shortcomings against a Senators team lacking much for offensive punch?

Well-Balanced Offensive Units Bolster Oilers

It may not exactly be what everybody wanted to see, but Evander Kane made a solid debut in the Oilers’ 7-2 win Saturday, posting a goal while skating alongside Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto on the top line.

The new look offers Edmonton three well-balanced offensive units, with Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent Hopkins leading the way on a responsible third unit with some scoring upside. Leon Draisaitl and Jesse Puljujarvi offer some serious scoring punch on the second line.

The Oilers have played to a strong 54.28 xGF% throughout the month of January, often scoring below expected. This isn’t something I would expect to see consistently from this group, and they seem to be coming out of that offensive lull.

I would argue that a 2.19 expected goals against is somewhat favorable to their overall play at times, likely under-quantifying the true nature of some defensive breakdowns. With that said, thing’s were likely far from as bad as the results indicated earlier on in January, and that is still the league’s fifth best mark over that time, which certainly holds some relevancy.

Mikko Koskinen’s play has stabilized as of late, with a .931 save % over his last three starts. I wouldn’t expect him to be a world beater by any means big picture, but he should again be offered a great chance to succeed versus the shorthanded Sens. the Oilers should only need him to make the saves he’s supposed to here.

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Senators Continue Scoring Struggle

As expected, Ottawa fought hard yet again vs. Anaheim on Saturday, and buy-in from this young group seems to be very strong right now. But it would was also predictable that the team could put up another lower offensive total, playing short two of its top three scorer’s in Josh Norris and Drake Batherson.

The Senators have now scored just 2.76 goals per game this season and have struggled out the gate without Batherson and Norris, scoring just three goals in the two games.

It’s really hard for me to see Ottawa holding Edmonton to an offensive total below three here, so it will need to see some of the depth pieces contribute or get a big night from the new top trio of Brady Tkachuk, Tyler Ennis and Tim Stutzle.

I certainly expect the Sens to go back to Matt Murray here as he looks to continue what has been a massive turnaround in form so far this month.

Oilers vs Senators Pick

Edmonton seems to be turning a corner, and although I believe this team holds some notable flaws, this doesn’t set up as a spot for it to be exposed.

The Oilers should be able to control more of the play here against a Senators team lacking much in offensive punch for the time being. It’s a good opportunity to help conceal its suspect goaltending and defensive play.

Edmonton should be able to continue its offensive upswing here, and I expect to see the same level of urgency here as we have seen the last four outings from a group that certainly can’t take any two points for granted.

Ottawa’s 6-4 triumph in Edmonton earlier this month came at close to the Oilers’ rock bottom this season, and the bounce back since the 6-0 thumping by the Panthers the following game has been emphatic. I think we will see the Oilers able to produce a strong offensive output here and win handily.

At +135 I think we have strong value to back a big Oilers win, and I would play their puck-line down to +110.

Pick: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 +135

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