I dished out a pair of free NHL picks last night and I ended up splitting them 1-1 with a tiny units loss on the night, but for the most part it was a no harm, no foul kind of night.
The winner came between the Flyers and Blue Jackets where I had the Flyers to win in regulation at +100 odds.
This one was never in doubt as Philly built up a 3-1 lead and never looked back in cruising to a 5-1 final score.
My loss came between the Sabres and Senators where I had Buffalo as road favorites at -115 odds.
Things looked excellent early as Buffalo jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead, but the Senators came roaring back with four goals in less than four minutes later in the opening frame and took a 4-2 lead into the first intermission.
The team teams went back-and-forth from there as the Sabres continued to cut into two-goal Senators leads, however Ottawa ended up running away with this one in a 7-4 final score.
All told, the 1-1 night cost me 0.15 units, so we’ll put that one behind us and move onto this six-game Wednesday night schedule!
Season Record: 98-83-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Bruins vs. Oilers from Rogers Place in Edmonton!
Bruins vs. Oilers Betting Odds
- Bruins (-190)
- Oilers (+165)
- Bruins -1.5 (+140)
- Oilers +1.5 (-160)
- Over 6 (+100)
- Under 6 (-120)
Bruins vs. Oilers NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Bruins are currently on one of those dominant runs that remind us that they are full-blown Stanley Cup threats once again.
We have actually seen some uncharacteristic stretches from them this season including a 1-4-4 stretch earlier in the year, but now Boston has gone 9-0-1 over their last 10 and are going toe-to-toe with the Lightning for the Presidents’ Trophy at the moment.
To be blunt, Boston is choking out opposing offenses at the moment.
Over their last 10 games, the Bruins have allowed more than two goals in a game just one time, to the league-worst Detroit Red Wings, of course.
In that time, they have allowed one goal or fewer on seven occasions and have averaged just 13 total goals against, good for a cool 1.30 goals against per game during this ridiculous run.
Now, the Bruins check in at first with 2.43 goals against per game on the road this season where their penalty kill sits eighth with an 81.2% mark.
Interestingly, four of their last nine goals against over the last six games have come on the PK. As a result, the Bruins have allowed a whopping 0.83 goals against per game at even strength over their last six contests.
The offense hasn’t been too shabby, either.
Boston enters this one ranked fifth with 3.21 goals per game on the road this season and fourth with a 24.7% clip on the power play away from home.
That offense has tallied at least three goals in four of their last five and has averaged 3.30 goals per game over their last 10.
Of course, the Bruins own some solid possession numbers, as well.
At 5v5 on the road, they rank 10th with a 49.75% Corsi For%, 11th with a 50.04% Scoring Chances For% and seventh with a 50.33% High-Danger Chances For%.
Of course, getting a third-ranked .935 Sv% at 5v5 away from home helps and after Jaroslav Halak got the nod – and the win – in the Bruins’ last game, I would expect the white-hot Tuukka Rask to get the nod in this one tonight.
If that’s the case, Rask will bring a stout 2.08 GAA and .931 Sv% into action as the leader in the Vezina Trophy race.
On the road, the veteran has turned in a 2.24 GAA and .928 Sv% across 14 starts while he’s on an absolute heater right now with a 1.21 GAA and .954 Sv% for the month of February across five outings.
In the event it’s Halak again, the Bruins will be in good hands there too.
He’s posted a 2.31 GAA and .922 Sv% in 27 appearances on the season and also a 2.25 GAA and .925 Sv% on the road in 15 outings.
The Oilers are one of the many teams involved in the dogfight that is the Pacific Division as they currently sit first in the division that sees the standings change on a near-nightly basis.
Nonetheless, the Oilers have been good in the face of adversity this season and they’re certainly facing some of that now.
They will play this one without Connor McDavid again tonight, but also without James Neal and defenseman Oscar Klefbom – the latter of whom has been absolute horse for this team on the blueline this season.
Regardless, Edmonton has won two straight and four of their last five entering this one tonight and did so in a couple of tough buildings in Florida and Carolina over their last two.
Now they’ll return home tonight for the first of a mini two-game homestand and will need to shore things up on the back end on home ice.
Edmonton currently sports the NHL’s worst home defense where they’ve allowed 3.50 goals per game on the season while their penalty kill at home sits in a tie for 25th with a 77.3% mark, a stark contrast to their league-best PK on the road.
The kill has been great of late, however, going a perfect 12 for 12 over their last five games.
Offensively, the Oilers haven’t gotten a ton from their depth but their high-end players have carried them to the league’s seventh-ranked home offense with 3.43 goals per game.
Furthermore, their home power play has been the best in the business with a clip north of 31%.
That said, the above three injuries are all members of that high-octane power play, but the Oilers have gone 5 for 13 (38.5%) on the man advantage over their last five nonetheless.
Despite sporting two of the best play-drivers in the world in McDavid and Art Ross/Hart Trophy candidate Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton’s possession metrics leave something to be desired.
They’ll enter this one ranked 25th with a 48.75% Corsi For% at 5v5 at home, 25th with a 49% Scoring Chances For% and also 25th with a 51.36% High-Danger Chances For%.
Despite the weak rankings at home, however, the numbers themselves tell us the possession metrics are quite similar between the two teams for this one tonight.
Like with Boston, we don’t have a confirmed netminder for the Oilers in this one, either.
Mike Smith has received four of the last five starts and won three of them while Mikko Koskinen was strong in making 34 saves in a 4-1 win in Florida on the weekend.
If it’s Smith again tonight, he’ll bring a 2.93 GAA and .904 Sv% into action, but he’s been roughed up for a 3.24 GAA and .892 Sv% in 15 appearances on home ice.
If it’s Koskinen, he’d carry a 2.85 GAA and .911 Sv% into action, but also a tough 3.38 GAA and .893 Sv% in 16 outings on home ice.
Regardless of how you slice it, Oilers home goaltending hasn’t inspired much confidence this season.
The Oilers have done a nice job in the face of their injury adversity of late, but this is a big mountain to climb tonight.
I mean, the way the Bruins are defending right now is utterly ridiculous.
The Oilers do possess the NHL’s top point-getter as Draisaitl runs away from the Art Ross pack, but this team is also paper-thin up front with McDavid and Neal out of the lineup.
If the Bruins can shut Draisaitl’s line down, the Oilers have a minuscule chance at winning this game. Last time I checked, the Bruins have a pretty good shutdown center in Patrice Bergeron on hand.
Add in the Bruins potent road offense and power play against the Oilers league-worst home defense and weak home penalty kill, and the Bruins appear to be in pretty good shape to get the best of the home side tonight.
I’m not laying the moneyline juice, but I don’t mind the Bruins on the three-way moneyline at -130 to win this one in regulation time tonight, and that’s where I want to make my money on this one.