Oilers vs. Wild NHL Odds, Pick, Preview (Dec. 7)
Andy Devlin/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid
Oilers vs. Wild Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Minnesota will travel in to Edmonton riding high on a seven-game win streak which has put the Wild atop the Western Conference standings. Edmonton will look to stop the bleeding after losing back-to-back games for the first time all season, following a 5-1 loss to the Kings at home Monday night.
What can we expect from this exciting showdown between two of the Western Conference’s better clubs?
After a very promising season last year, ultimately ending in a seven-game playoff loss to Vegas, the Wild have come out of the gates flying by playing an up-tempo and exciting style of hockey.
Kirill Kaprizov has rewarded GM Bill Guerin’s faith in signing him to a big ticket this summer with some excellent play by posting 29 points in 24 games to lead the club.
Behind him, the team has scored by committee, with 12 players already at double digits. This balanced attack has the Wild sitting third in offensive production so far.
The Wild hold one of the league’s more talented blue lines. They have strong two-way defenders excellent at driving play up the ice and joining the attack. This is a big reason for the Wild’s strong play and has given them a 53.91 xGF% so far this season.
Captain Jared Spurgeon is likely to return to the lineup tomorrow and should give a boost to a very strong blue line with his underrated play. Behind him, Matt Dumba continues to produce along with Jonas Brodin.
Beyond those big three that most expected to dominate again, Alex Goligoski has been very strong and has rewarded GM Bill Guerin for a signing which many (myself included) felt was puzzling after the buyout of Ryan Suter.
Goligoski has posted 16 points in 21 games, pacing the team’s defenders in points.
Cam Talbot should draw the tough road assignment for Coach Dean Evason. He has been steady with a .915 Save % and +2.7 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Coach Dave Tippett certainly doesn’t favor a high-scoring style of hockey, but the Oilers’ roster strengths lend to that style of play this season.
The back end features some notable weaknesses as the unit continues to give up a higher than average amount of chances against. However, their 2.50 xGA/60 last month is still a notable improvement from the start of the season.
Darnell Nurse’s return will certainly help, but behind him there isn’t overly strong support. Even Tyson Barrie continues to be very gettable defensively, as he has been average when not on the ice with McDavid or Draisaitl, but he does offer some strong offensive upside.
The Oilers have been stabilized tremendously by the otherworldly play of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who allow the Oilers success while holding otherwise uninspiring 5-on-5 numbers. McDavid and Draisaitl drive the league’s top power play at 34.3%.
It’s unclear whether coach Dave Tippett will go with Mikko Koskinen or Stuart Skinner here, but Skinner’s play does look sharper to the eye. He has also posted somewhat better numbers with a .921 Save % and a +1.3 GSAx rating, while Koskinen holds a .911 Save % and a -2.4 GSAx rating.
Oilers vs. Wild Pick
Minnesota’s contests continue to be high-scoring shootouts of late, which have widely resulted in victories for the Wild. Wild games have averaged 7.44 combined goals over their last nine games.
In a battle against an Oilers team that has simply not defended well this season and also has some of the league’s most lethal firepower up front, I think it’s likely we see this trend continue. I project greater than a 55% chance we see this one go over the set total of 6.5.
I lean toward Minnesota as the Wild have a significantly deeper defense, and they will likely control more of the play at 5-on-5. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see McDavid and Draisaitl put together big games and get Edmonton out of their mini slump.
You should be able to find somewhere near a plus-number for the time being, and I would play it at 6.5 down to -115.
Pick: Over 6.5 +100 (Play to -115)
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