NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Predators vs. Oilers (Jan. 27)
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid.
- The Oilers are a slight home favorite tonight against the Predators.
- Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl form a dynamic offensive duo, but the Edmonton defense isn't of the same caliber.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Predators vs. Oilers Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Having snapped their dreadful seven-game losing streak last Saturday night, Edmonton showed a lot of heart by posting an impressive come-from-behind victory Tuesday against a shorthanded Vancouver team.
The Predators continue to prove to be a legitimate playoff team in the West while posting some strong offensive outputs. Will Nashville expose an Edmonton team that has been offering up some poor defensive play?
Nashville Enters Matchup Thriving Offensively
Nashville continues to be one of the league’s pleasant surprises this season, and it’s especially surprising offensive play shined again in Seattle. Filip Forsberg produced yet another highlight reel tally, while Matt Duchene hit the 20-goal mark in his huge bounce-back season. Luke Kunin also became the team’s seventh player to hit double-digit goals on the season.
The Predators’ well-balanced offense has combined to create a strong 13th-ranked goals-per-game average of 3.11, which is up to 3.5 over their last six games. Although a rate of 3.20 expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF/60) suggests a slight regression could be coming, it’s hard to see it happening against an Edmonton team holding few overly capable defenders.
Juuse Saros tremendous movement and anticipation has again kept him amongst the league’s most effective goaltenders at just 5-foot-11, with a +16.4 GSAx and a .924 save percentage in 36 games. Expect him to draw the start here.
Edmonton’s Defense Limits Its Potential
Although being in such a position against a notably shorthanded Canucks squad is less than impressive, the Oilers stuck with it in the third period and found a way to come back from two goals down to claim an overtime victory.
That win followed a gigantic 5-3 home victory in the battle of Alberta one game prior against Calgary, and it seems that you can feel a little confidence returning to this group. I think we are going to see Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and the Edmonton offense start to click again after a rough patch moving forward.
With that said, this Oilers group simply does not have a very capable defense. Some of Edmonton’s more capable defenders thrive most in the offensive zone instead.
Duncan Keith and Cody Ceci continue to be a liability as a second defensive pairing, but the Oilers really don’t have options to shake things up. A third pairing of Kris Russell and Slater Koekkoek is quite subpar, as well.
For me, the pieces just aren’t there for the Oilers to be an above-average team defensively this season. I think we’ll see them stay in the bottom-third in goals allowed all season, as they currently sit ninth by giving up 3.37 per game.
The goaltending certainly hasn’t helped things, and we should see Mikko Koskinen looking to build on a better pair of outings here. Koskinen holds a -8.5 goals saved above expected rating (GSAx) with an .899 save percentage in 23 games this season.
Predators vs Oilers Pick
The Oilers were able to put a halt to an awful run of defensive results on Tuesday against a depleted Vancouver team, but I do not foresee such a thing occurring against Nashville. The Preds have proven to have a formidable attack that’s capable of scoring from all over the attacking zone.
As you might expect, though, the Oilers offense seems to be trending upward after the worst lull of the season. They certainly could have produced a bigger total than three in that win.
This sets up as a good spot for both teams to produce some goals, and I think that’s just how the Oilers are going to have win most nights — with their utterly elite pair of McDavid and Draisaitl that will look to create enough to help outweigh a shaky defense and average goaltending duo.
I think we have enough of an edge to make a play on the over 6 at -115 here, and would play it at 6 down to -140.
Pick: Over 6 (-115, play to -140)
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