NHL Wednesday best bets: Oilers to best Blues in St. Louis
It was another good night for our best bets. The New Jersey Devils beat down the Detroit Red Wings in their own barn while the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers gave us a relatively sweat-free under of 6.5 goals.
We’ll look to keep building on that success with two more plays for Wednesday’s three-gamer.
The Edmonton Oilers have been very up and down in the early going of the season, having yet to claim two wins in a row. I think that streak ends Wednesday.
While the Oilers’ 3-3 record is nothing to write home about, they’ve mostly played quite well. They rank ninth in expected goal share at five-on-five and sixth in terms of high-danger chances.
Edmonton sits near the top of the NHL in creating Grade A looks – as you’d expect from a team featuring Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl – and, believe it or not, fifth in suppressing them. The Oilers are getting it done at both ends of the ice.
That’s not necessarily the case for the St. Louis Blues, who’ve shown some red flags despite their 3-1 start.
At five-on-five, the Blues have been outchanced by at least six in three straight games. They’ve also scored only four non-empty-net goals over their last 180 minutes of regulation play, with three of them coming against Martin Jones.
Pavel Buchnevich‘s absence makes them less dangerous up front and more reliant on their team defense, which ranks 23rd in expected goals against/60 thus far.
I expect McDavid, Draisaitl, and Co. to be much more threatening than they were the last time these two sides met.
Bet: Oilers (-110)
If you like offense, this is probably the game for you.
The Anaheim Ducks can’t defend a lick. At five-on-five, they rank 31st in shot attempts against per 60 and dead last in terms of limiting expected goals. Opposing teams generate chance after chance after chance.
Unsurprisingly, the goaltending hasn’t been able to hold up behind such horrid team play. Between John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz, Ducks netminders have conceded at least four goals in five of six games thus far. Subpar goaltending coupled with arguably the league’s worst defensive play isn’t exactly a recipe for success.
Even with the Lightning having won just three of seven games out of the gate, Tampa Bay should be able to score its fair share of goals against this Ducks team.
On the flip side, it’s a good spot for Anaheim to hold up its end of the bargain as well. The Lightning’s defensive metrics at five-on-five aren’t great, and they’ve taken a lot of penalties, which they’ve had an awfully tough time killing off.
Tampa Bay ranks dead last in attempts against/60 and 31st in expected goals against/60 while down a man. Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, and Co. are more than capable of creating – and capitalizing on – some dangerous looks against the Lightning’s penalty kill.
Undoubtedly aiding Anaheim’s cause is the presence of Brian Elliott, who’s expected to get the nod in the latter half of the back-to-back. The 37-year-old has posted a sub .900 save percentage in two of the last three years and has allowed eight goals over two starts to begin this campaign.
No matter which team comes out on top, there’s reason to believe each will muster up its share of goals.
Look for this one to go over the number.
Bet: Over 6.5 (-115)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.