Peguins vs Oilers Prediction: NHL Odds, Preview

Peguins vs Oilers Prediction: NHL Odds, Preview article feature image

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images). Pictured: Sidney Crosby.

Penguins vs. Oilers Prediction, Odds

Sunday, March 3
9 p.m. ET
Penguins Odds+170
Oilers Odds-205
Over / Under
-105o / -115u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, March 3 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

Whenever Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid go head to head, it makes for can't miss television, so we should be treated to a good one Sunday night.

Check out my Penguins vs. Oilers prediction below.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Despite playing a roster that combines to own upwards of 15 Stanley Cup rings most nights, the Penguins have continually displayed the exact opposite of "winning DNA" this season. That was again the case Saturday night versus the Flames, as two untimely errors from Kris Letang lead to an extremely painful 4-3 loss in a game the Penguins controlled thoroughly.

Excluding empty net goals for either side, the Penguins own a record of 15-22 straight up in gamed decided by a single goal. With a .500 record in those games, the Penguins would still have a solid chance at making the postseason.

In 12 games since the All-Star break, the Penguins have played to a 52.75% expected goal share and generated 3.30 xGF/60.

Despite playing without Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel, they have still generated a ton of chances in the first three matchups of this Western road swing. They have played to a 3.58 xGF/60 and averaged 34.62 shots per game.

Whether the third man on the line is Reilly Smith or Drew O'Connor, Crosby has displayed chemistry with Rickard Rakell at even strength recently. They looked dangerous last night with O'Connor, and heavily out-chanced the Flames despite each finishing -2 in the boxscore.

Alex Nedeljkovic should get the start in this back-to-back spot, and he has played to a 2.9 GSAx and .915 save percentage across 19 appearances.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers are set to draw a ton of coverage this week ahead of the trade deadline Friday. They are priced as the outright cup favorite by oddsmakers and have made a clear case to GM Ken Holland that he needs to be aggressive in bolstering the roster.

Pundits are speculating the Oilers are looking to bring in a top-six winger, shore up the blue line with a right side defender and trying to upgrade their backup goaltender. If you consider the Oilers' roster construction and the price of rentals at the deadline, it is highly unlikely they will actually be able to do all three of those things. Therefore, prioritizing what is most important in terms of replacement value will be key.

If the Oilers actually upgrade their goaltending situation, this could be backup Calvin Pickard's last start of the season. At this point though, they need to live and die with Stuart Skinner, as paying up for a 1B option doesn't make much sense relative to other needs.

Pickard has come down to earth after a surprisingly strong start to the campaign, but has still been a league-average backup with a -0.9 GSAx and .905 save percentage in 11 appearances.

The Oilers were statistically the best defensive team in hockey throughout January, but that did come against an abnormally soft schedule. Their defensive play has taken a step back recently — allowing 3.61 goals against per game since Feb. 1 — though they have had three strong showings this week. In those 13 matchups, they have allowed 3.26 xGA/60.

Edmonton should settle into being an above-average defensive team moving forward, but not a side who wins the Cup specifically based upon defensive upside. Cody Ceci is a big part of the locker room and it is likely not realistic to replace him entirely.

Bringing in another top-four defender to play on the right side and slide Ceci down to the third pair would likely yield improved results.

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for NHL bettors
The best NHL betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Penguins vs. Oilers

Betting Pick & Prediction

Whenever we are treated to Crosby vs. McDavid, it makes for an electric matchup. Both superstars are seemingly always up for these games and neither team has typically been a defensive powerhouse. The Oilers are much better defensively this season than in recent years, but have tailed off a little bit on that front recently. The fact that they are starting Pickard in this matchup will also make goal prevention that much more difficult.

The Penguins looked excellent on the offensive side of things last night in Calgary and have continued to generate lots of chances recently. The problem is when they get on the back foot, they feature a defensive core that has been highly susceptible to egregious errors. That weakness continues to make even their best performances into close games.

Pittsburgh should be able to create enough offense to make this matchup competitive, but it's difficult to see it ever running away with this one. If the Penguins generate offense, Crosby will likely be the main reason why, as he continues to play at an incredible level. He is priced at +175 to record two points, which I would bet down to +170.

This also sets up as a good matchup to back a regulation tie at the long number of +380.

Pick: Sidney Crosby Over 1.5 Points (+175 via Bet365; Play to +170) | Regulation Tie (+380 via FanDuel; Play to +365)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.