My picks have gone cold of late and that was indeed the case on last night’s one-game NHL schedule.
I had the under 5.5 at attractive +105 odds between the Senators and Blue Jackets last night, looking for an elite home defense and goaltender to hold the 30th-ranked Senators road offense in check.
That didn’t happen, however, as the Sens actually took a 3-2 midway through the third period, but the Jackets tied it up less than a minute later to sink our pick.
The game went into overtime tied at 3-3 before Emil Bemstrom bagged the winner to give the Jackets the victory.
It’s been a tough go of late, but I’ll stick to my guns and take on this 13-game Tuesday night schedule!
Season Record: 101-88-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Oilers vs. Ducks from the Honda Center in Anaheim!
Oilers vs. Ducks Betting Odds
- Oilers (-145)
- Ducks (+131)
- Oilers -1.5 (+165)
- Ducks +1.5 (-190)
- Over 6 (+107)
- Under 6 (-118)
Oilers vs. Ducks NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s check in with each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Oilers are one of the many Pacific Division teams desperate for points each and every night and they enter this one having won five of their last eight games.
However, more recently, the road has been more favorable to Edmonton than Rogers Place as they won two in a row on the road before dropping two in a row at home, and finally going back on the road to beat the Kings on Sunday.
Their road defense has certainly been superior to their work at home.
While the Oilers sit in last place with 3.50 goals against per game at home, they rank fourth with 2.66 goals against per game on the road.
The same goes for their penalty kill that ranks 22nd with a 79.8% mark on home ice but first with an 89.1% mark on the road.
They aren’t better on offense on the road, but they do rank a solid 14th with an even 3.00 goals per game on the road but they also sit second with a 26.5% clip on the power play away from home as well.
Having a fourth-ranked defense combined with the best penalty kill and second-best power play away from home has led Edmonton to their nice 18-12-2 record on the road compared to an inferior 15-10-5 record on home ice.
That said, the Oilers aren’t exactly advanced stats darlings on the road.
At 5v5 on the road, the Oilers rank 20th with a 47.63% Corsi For%, 18th with a 47.61% Scoring Chances For% and 14th with a 48.67% High-Danger Chances For%.
Not terrible numbers in any form, but surely nothing to write home about, either.
They have received some strong goaltending on the road as well with their .916 Sv% on the road checking in as part of a three-way tie for third in the league between the likes of Mike Smith in Mikko Koskinen.
Now, we don’t know who will start tonight as the Oilers also play tomorrow night in Vegas, so it’s almost certain that both goaltenders will see action in the back-t0-back.
Smith has been getting the bulk of the starts of late, and he’s been real good of late as well.
Smith enter this one sporting a 2.87 GAA and .905 Sv% on the season in 34 outings, but also an improved 2.63 GAA and .913 SV% in 18 road outings.
In the month of February, Smith has worked to a 2.53 GAA and .920 Sv% and a 5-1-1 record while he’s posted a .928 Sv% over his last six starts, going 4-1-1 in that time.
If Koskinen gets the nod, he will carry a 2.89 GAA and .911 Sv% into action across his 30 starts and 33 appearances on the season.
The 31-year-old has been fabulous on the road, however, posting a 2.33 GAA and .929 Sv% in 16 road appearances and stopped 33 of 34 shots (.971 Sv%) in Florida in his last road start back on February 15th.
It will be an interesting to see if head coach Dave Tippett starts the red-hot Smith against the red-hot Golden Knights tomorrow or looks for Smith to take advantage of the low-scoring Ducks tonight while saving the superior road goaltender in Koskinen for the Knights tomorrow.
It’s the dog days of the NHL season for this Ducks team as they enter this one having dropped four in a row and seven of their last nine as they play out another transitional year.
The transition is from experience to youth as players like Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry have been subbed out for the likes of Sam Steel, Max Jones and Troy Terry, although the latter was just sent down to the AHL to prepare for the postseason down there.
Nonetheless, there’s hockey to be played and jobs to be kept or won so by no means should we expect a flop from the Ducks down the stretch, especially at home.
The Ducks have played some solid defense at home this season where they are tied for 16th with an even 3.00 goals against per game with a penalty kill that sits 12th with a quality 82.7% mark.
The issue has been at the other end of the ice.
On offense, Anaheim ranks 30th with just 2.55 goals per game on home ice, ahead of only the lowly Red Wings who have struggled mightily with just 2.10 goals per game at home themselves.
Their power play has scuffled to the tune of a 13.8% clip that has them in 27th place in that department.
The offense has been Jekyll and Hyde of late as they were shutout in a game, then scored nine goals over their last two, then scored once over their next two before scoring five their last time out.
Add it up and they have averaged 2.67 goals per game over their last six but have scored just six times over their last five at home, but five of those came their last time out. The Ducks have therefore been shut out twice over their last four at home.
Possession-wise, the Ducks aren’t much to write home about, either.
At 5v5 at home, they are tied for 18th with a 50.11% Corsi For% and 19th with a 50.80% Scoring Chances For%, but they do jump to 11th with a nice 53.79% High-Danger Chances For%.
Their goaltending has scuffled a bit at home this season, however, with their .912 Sv% at 5v5 on the road ranking 24th in the league.
Like with the Oilers, we don’t know who will get the starting nod between the pipes at this point, but with no back-to-back in play one would assume it’s John Gibson.
If so, Gibson would carry a 3.01 GAA and .903 Sv% into action for the season and a slightly improved 2.85 GAA and .905 Sv% in 23 home outings.
Gibson owns a rather similar 3.11 GAA and .900 Sv% in the month of February to this point and allowed six goals in an OT loss to the Golden Knights at home his last time out on Sunday.
The Ducks will have several new faces in the lineup tonight after making some trades yesterday on deadline day.
Perhaps it could rejuvenate a group that’s looked sluggish of late, but I’m concern about the back end of this team against an Oilers offense that received an injection itself yesterday.
Both Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Ennis will not only make their Oilers debuts tonight but will also skate alongside Connor McDavid in doing so.
While Kailer Yamamoto is out of the lineup and off that productive line alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers’ top-six is better at this point and I think they’ll give the Ducks thin defense a tough time tonight.
If they don’t we know the Oilers are a stout road defense where they’v received quality goaltending this season.
Also keep in mind the big special teams advantage Edmonton holds in this one.
To me, I think a desperate Oilers team that now has McDavid back in the lineup combined with watching their GM upgrade the offense will be ready to go for this one.
I believe that’s bad news for the Ducks and I’ll simply go ahead and take the road side on the moneyline tonight.