It’s been a few days since my last NHL pick was released, however the good news is that I officially snapped an ice-cold streak with a winner on my lone pick from Thursday night.
I had the Toronto Maple Leafs to a win a key clash in Florida slight -107 favorites, and that was indeed the case.
Although down 3-1 in the first, the Maple Leafs managed to tie the game a three before the conclusion of the first period. The game settled down from there, however, and a William Nylander go-ahead goal midway through the third stood as the winner in a 4-3 Maple Leafs final.
It was nice to get back on the winning track and I’ll now turn my attention to tonight’s small two-game NHL schedule in hopes of making it two consecutive winners!
Season Record: 104-92-1
Now let’s dive into this free NHL pick featuring the Oilers vs. Predators from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville!
Oilers vs. Predators Betting Odds
- Oilers (+128)
- Predators (-141)
- Oilers +1.5 (-197)
- Predators -1.5 (+172)
- Over 6 (-109)
- Under 6 (-101)
Oilers vs. Predators NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s check in with each of these teams before I get into my final pick.
After a stretch that saw them lose three of four games including a monumental clash with the first-place Vegas Golden Knights that resulted in a 3-0 loss, the Oilers enter this one coming off a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
Whether the Oilers deserved the win is up for debate as the Jets outshot their Western Conference counterparts by a whopping 41-22 count, but the Oilers’ elite road special teams was the difference.
Edmonton was a clean 2 for 2 on both the power play and penalty kill, snapping a three-game streak in which they allowed a power play goal while keeping their power play clicking.
That power play has now gone 4 for 10 over their last four games and sits second with a 25.8% clip on the road this season.
The penalty kill had gone just 6 for 9 over a three-game stretch, but the 2 for 2 effort on Saturday has them sitting first with an 87.9% mark in that department away from home.
Despite being shutout by Vegas in their second-to-last game, the Oilers offense hasn’t been too bad of late, posting at least three goals in four of their last five games and sit 17th with 2.91 goals per game on the road this season.
That said, it’s been their work at the other end of the ice that’s been the bigger contributor – along with special teams – in having the Oilers sitting with a 18-13-3 record on the road this season.
Entering tonight’s contest, the Oilers rank fourth with 2.71 goals against per game on the road and combined with that road penalty kill, they’re simply not giving up much of anything on the road away from Rogers Place.
Although, they have allowed seven goals over their previous two road games, but received much better goaltending from Mike Smith on Saturday then they did earlier in the week in Anaheim.
Smith allowed four goals on just 21 shots to the Ducks (.810 Sv%), but rebounded with 39 saves on 41 games on Saturday against the Jets.
If Smith gets the nod in this one, he will bring a 2.87 GAA and .905 Sv% into action for the season to go along with an improved 2.70 GAA and .909 Sv% on the road where he’s gone 10-6-3 on the year in 19 starts.
That said, we don’t have a confirmed starter for the Oilers at the time of this writing, meaning Mikko Koskinen could also get the start, and he’s been the better of the two on the road this season.
Koskinen would enter this one sporting a 2.89 GAA and .911 Sv% on the season, but also a 2.37 GAA and .927 Sv% on the road in 15 starts and 17 appearances, but has just an 8-7-0 record to show for it.
Koskinen didn’t play poorly in Vegas, allowing three goals on 33 shots and owns a .940 Sv% over his last two road starts, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get the nod in this one.
The Preds toiled outside of the postseason picture for much of the year but have turned it on of late, winning six of their last nine games to grab ahold of the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
What’s more is they’ve done so with games in hand on every team competing for those spots, although with a top-three spot in the Central out of reach the postseason fight remains exclusive to Wild Card territory.
Like the Oilers, the Predators have played well on the road for much of the season, but not so well at home, an uncharacteristic feature of this year’s Predators club that’s just 16-13-4 at home, meaning they’ve lost one more game at home than they’ve won.
Their offense has been superior on the road as their 3.39 goals per game away from home sits ahead of their 2.91 mark at home, which ranks 22nd in the league.
Their home defense hasn’t been the best, sitting tied for 18th with 3.03 goals against per game, although their home penalty kill is far superior at home at 10th with an 82.6% mark compared to their last-ranked 68.5% mark on the road.
That said, the other end of their special teams has struggled mightily at home as their home power play sits 29th with a 13.2% mark on the campaign.
That power has also gone just 2 for 20 (10%) over their last seven games and 2 for 15 (13.3%) over their last six games on home ice.
They’ve played well at both ends of the ice at home of late, however, winning three in a row at home until taking a 3-2 loss to the red-hot Avalanche on Saturday despite going 4 for 4 on the penalty kill in that one.
We aren’t sure who will get the nod for the Preds in goal tongiht, either, as it could be either Pekka Rinne or Juuse Saros, although Saros has started four straight and played extremely well in that time.
For the season, Saros owns a 2.89 GAA and .907 Sv% to go along with a 2.60 GAA and .912 Sv% at home.
Over his last four, he’s gone 3-1-0 while posting a .932 Sv%.
If Rinne gets back into the net, he would bring a 3.00 GAA and .900 Sv% into action, as well as a 3.02 GAA and .896 Sv% across his 20 appearances at home this season.
He too has been good in his most recent work, however, posting a .961 Sv% over his last two starts, but winning just one with a total goal support of three in that time.
This matchup here is yet another monumental clash for postseason positioning.
While Edmonton’s goal is to win the Pacific, a Predators win pulls them to within two points of the Oilers with a game in hand, a positive in case Edmonton falls into the Wild Card race instead of the Pacific Division race.
An Oilers win pulls them to within two points of the Pacific-leading Golden Knights to go along with their game in hand, so both teams are desperate for the two points in this one.
While the Predators have played well of late, they were cooled off their last time out and I don’t see much value in their -141 odds to win this one on the moneyline.
Considering how well they defend and their elite road special teams, combined with the McDavid/Draisaitl duo up front, I see notable value in the Oilers at +128 coming off a win.
They’ll either get a goaltender in Smith coming off a huge effort against the Jets or a goaltender in Koskinen who’s excelled on the road.
Saros has been good for the Predators to be sure, leading me to believe this could actually be a low-scoring affair, but to me the value here lies in the moneyline odds of the road team.
Sign me up for the Oilers tonight and let’s make it two wins in a row!