Canucks at Oilers Betting Odds and Pick: Can Vancouver Slow Down Connor McDavid?

Canucks at Oilers Betting Odds and Pick: Can Vancouver Slow Down Connor McDavid? article feature image
Credit:

Mark J. Rebilas, USA Today Sports.

Canucks at Oilers Odds

  • Canucks Odds: +120
  • Oilers Odds: -140
  • Over/Under: 6
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET

American Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror and the Edmonton Oilers are sitting atop the Pacific Division standings.

It’s no secret how the Oilers got here. Edmonton leans incredibly hard on its two best players, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl. Not only do Draisatl and McDavid rank first and second, respectively, in points but they are also the only two forwards in the NHL averaging over 22 minutes of ice time per game.

Having two players account for over 40% of your offensive output is not ideal, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

The Oilers do seem to be improving overall. Since Oct. 30, a span of 14 games, the Oilers boast the ninth-best expected goal share in the NHL at 52.4% (per Evolving Hockey). However, Edmonton’s power play is still operating at a league-best 32% and it’s hard to imagine the Oilers will keep getting that kind of production on the man-advantage.

There are signs of looming regression, but they just may not be as drastic as we once thought.

After getting out of the gates hot, the Vancouver Canucks have hit a bit of a rough patch of late, going 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. Vancouver’s latest loss was especially tough to swallow, as it blew a three-goal lead in the third period to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Saturday night’s tilt with the Oilers will cap a six-game road trip and an eight-game stretch against strong opposition. An easy schedule in the early going definitely helped Vancouver get off the blocks, but the past two weeks has been brutal for the young Canucks.

It’s no wonder that the Canucks saw their numbers drop over their last team games. On the season, Vancouver is the 11th-best expected goals team in the NHL at 51.3%, but over its last 10 games the Canucks operated at 46.2%.

After a grueling stretch, I’m backing the Canucks to start finding their early-season form. The task tonight will start and end with shutting down McDavid and Draisatl and if the Canucks can do that, they should be in good shape since the Oilers’ offense, overall, has not had much bite at 5-on-5.

Heatmap via HockeyViz.com

Keeping this game at 5-on-5 will be imperative for the Canucks, but I am happy to take my chances in what I think is pretty even matchup.

This game opened at Oilers -140/Canucks +120, which implies Edmonton wins this fixture 56.2% of the time. It also means that, when you adjust for home-ice advantage (4.9%) the Oilers would be slight favorites over the Canucks on neutral ice.

Given their edge in overall depth, I’d make the Canucks and Oilers a 50/50 encounter on neutral ice, so I see a slight edge on Vancouver at +117 or better. The Canucks have taken some early money, but there are +120s out there, so be sure to shop for the best number no matter which side you are betting.

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