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NHL Odds & Pick for Oilers vs. Canucks: Both Offenses Will Shine in Vancouver

NHL Odds & Pick for Oilers vs. Canucks: Both Offenses Will Shine in Vancouver article feature image

Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid

  • Edmonton and Vancouver close out the Saturday slate of NHL action.
  • The Oilers are an impressive 5-1 on the season and are -140 favorites over the Canucks.
  • Check out Grant White's full betting preview complete with odds and a pick below.

Oilers vs. Canucks Odds

Oilers Odds-140
Canucks Odds+120
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The NHL’s playoff format makes intradivisional games so important. Essentially, teams compete for a top-four spot in their respective divisions, meaning every matchup is a four-point game.

The winning team gets two points, but they also prevent their opponent from gaining two points in the standings. That makes these games critical, even at the start of the season, and that’s exactly what we get on Saturday when the Vancouver Canucks host the Edmonton Oilers.

Canucks Relying on Powerplay

Vancouver’s success is contingent on their powerplay. At five-on-five, the Canucks have the worst expected goals-for percentages in the league at 41.8%. However, they jump dramatically when considering their metrics across all strengths, ranking 18th in the league with a 49.1% rating.

The Canucks offensive metrics have been awful over their recent sample of games. The Nucks have attempted seven or fewer high-danger chances at five-on-five in each of their past four games. Not surprisingly, they’ve been out-chanced in three of those four games and cumulatively are at a 39-18 disadvantage. Scoring chances are also a concern, as Vancouver hasn’t attempted more than 15 over their past four, getting out-chanced in every game.

Those questionable metrics will make it hard to keep pace with the Oilers on Saturday, who have one of the most efficient offenses in the league. The Canucks don’t have the defensive presence to limit the Oilers’ attack, allowing 11 or more high-danger chances in three of their past four. The Canucks have to get a few metrics working in their favor before getting serious about winning games.

Oilers Hurting in Net

The Oilers are off a pair of disappointing outings and are back on the road for their second game in over a week. Edmonton has posted an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% in each of their past two games but gets a meeting with a Nucks’ squad that is getting run over.

Edmonton’s parameters for success are similar to Vancouver’s, although not as pronounced. A lot of the Oilers’ offense is facilitated through the man advantage, where Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have more room to operate. However, the Oilers have scored 10 goals at five-on-five over the past four games.

Impacting the Oilers’ chances against the Canucks is an injury to primary goalie Mike Smith. Mikko Koskinen stepped up in his absence and got off to a good start but faltered in his most recent start. The Finnish netminder allowed four goals on 33 shots last time out for an 87.9% save percentage.

The other issue is that Koskinen is operating above career averages. When his workload increased last season, we saw a decline in his metrics. That’s trouble for the Oilers, as Koskinen is the probable starter for the fourth consecutive game.

Oilers vs. Canucks Pick

This game will play out as a pond hockey game, and offense will reign supreme. Both teams can fly up and down the ice and have questionable defensive metrics.

That will turn this matchup into an arms race as one team tries to keep pace with the other offensively. We’re taking the over in this Pacific Division meeting.

Pick: Over 6.5 (+102 at Unibet)

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