Free NHL Picks: Oilers at Penguins Odds
by George Monroy - 10/14/2013
The Edmonton Oilers started off the season with four losses in their first five games, and to make matters even worse the team now heads to Pittsburgh to face the division-leading Penguins on the second night of a road back-to-back. The Oilers were a team that many experts believed would make the playoffs and, at minimum, be a solid regular-season team. However, the beginning of the season has not gone Edmonton’s way, and unfortunately things are about to get tougher for the team. During tonight’s matchup against the Penguins, the Oilers will be on the second night of a brutal eight road games during a 15-day span. The team will play at home once during that nine-game period, which began last Saturday and ends on Oct. 27 with a matchup at the Staples Center against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Penguins, on the other hand, are in a more comfortable portion of their schedule that includes four home games during the next five matchups. Pittsburgh has won four out of its first five games and is leading the Metropolitan Division with eight points. The team’s only loss came on Friday during a road matchup against the Florida Panthers. Penguins’ team captain Sidney Crosby has been fantastic as usual and already has nine points to start the year—five goals and four assists. Let’s take a closer look at Tuesday’s Oilers versus Penguins matchup and figure out which side of the game has the most value to wager on.
Oilers at Penguins Betting Story Lines
Pittsburgh, just as most people expected, has been an offensive juggernaut. The team already has four different players with five points or more this season and has just been in sync to open the 2013-14 campaign. The Penguins have scored 20 goals through five games and allowed only 13, which is a sharp contrast against the Oilers, who have scored 16 times but already allowed 21 goals. Sidney Crosby pulled off a hat trick during Pittsburgh’s 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, and he has not shown signs of any lingering injuries from last year. The team lost its first game of the season against the Florida Panthers on Friday during a 6-3 blowout that fell mostly at the hands of backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Tomas Vokoun, Pittsburgh’s primary backup goaltender, is expected miss 3-6 months after being diagnosed with blood clots.
The Oilers main issue over the first five games of the season has been on the defensive end. The team has been able to score goals and produce on the offensive end. However, Edmonton has allowed 10 goals in its last two games, which to be quite honest can be blamed on goaltender Devan Dubnyk. The Oilers are allowing only 30 shots per game, which is not a horrendous number, but they are giving up five goals on those shots. The team has an 83 percent save rate, which might sound like a solid number, but in hockey that is very poor. The trouble for Edmonton is that they do not have a better goaltender option at the moment and will continue to start Dubnyk instead of backup Jason LaBarbera.
Edmonton is currently 10th in goals per game (3.2), 29th in goals allowed (5.0) and eighth in power play percentage. Pittsburgh is third in goals per game (4.0), 13th in goals allowed (2.6) and second in power play percentage.
Oilers at Penguins NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Pittsburgh opened as a –230 moneyline favorite, while Edmonton opened as a +192 underdog, according to BookMaker. The total was set at six goals, with the “over” being a slight favorite at -110. The Oilers have gone over in six of their last seven games. The over is also 4-1 during the last five meetings between these two teams in Pittsburgh. The Oilers have also not done well against the Penguins as of late and are 1-4 during the last five games in Pittsburgh and 1-4 during the last five meetings overall.
Free NHL Picks: Oilers at Penguins Betting Predictions
The Oilers are in a tough situation at the moment. The team has one win in five games, does not have a reliable goaltender, and will be on the road six times over the next 12 days. If Edmonton does not turn things around quickly, they might dig themselves a huge whole very early in the season. Expect the Oilers to play desperate and approach tonight’s matchup as a must-win. However, the team’s problems are not something that can be fixed overnight. Pittsburgh is the better team, playing at home, and is riding a hot streak. The Penguins are deserved favorites here. However, the best play for Tuesday’s game is taking the over.
Edmonton allows a large number of shots per game and stops those shots at a low percentage. There is some value on the Oilers pulling off the upset, especially at +192 odds. The best bet, however, is to expect a high-scoring matchup where an excellent offensive Penguins team takes advantage of a sup-bar goalie and defensive Oilers squad. Edmonton’s last three games has produced nine, five and 11 goals, while Pittsburgh’s has produced totals of seven, nine and nine goals. Take the over.
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