Free NHL Picks: Canucks at Oilers Odds
by George Monroy - 1/20/2014
The Vancouver Canucks are still in playoff contention in the West, but if they continue to play the way the same way they have during the month of January, the Canucks will soon be on the outside looking in. The squad dropped eight of its last 10 matchups and already put a three- and four-game losing streak under its belt not even three weeks into 2014. Vancouver’s lineup has been plagued with various injuries to key players over the last month, but the team’s biggest issue over its recent slump is the simply fact that it plays in a tough Western Conference. The Canucks have already faced the Los Angeles Kings twice, the Anaheim Ducks twice, to go along with matchups against the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues—all in the last two weeks.
The Edmonton Oilers continue to be one of the worst, if not the worst, teams in the NHL. Edmonton is on a four-game losing streak, has lost seven of its last nine, and is sitting in last place in the Western Conference. The squad, however, will start a three-game homestand against Vancouver on Tuesday night and hope to string together a few wins and climb out of that last-place hole. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup with predictions and analysis.
Canucks at Oilers Betting Story Lines
Vancouver opened 2014 will a brutal schedule that sent the team on the road for five of its first eight games against four of the top teams in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, the Canucks were able to produce only one win during that span and nearly fell out of playoff contention in the process. However, goaltender Roberto Luongo returned to the team on Saturday against Calgary after missing six games with an ankle injury. He looked fantastic. The 13-year veteran was able to save 31 shots during the team’s win and stopped five of six shootout attempts.
Prior to Saturday’s win over the Flames, the Canucks had scored only one goal in its three previous matchups and were embarrassed during a 9-1 loss to Anaheim last Wednesday. Vancouver’s team captain and point’s leader, Henrik Sedin, did not play in the third period against Calgary because of an upper-body injury he suffered during the second period of the game. Sedin is listed as day-to-day and is expected to miss Tuesday’s game.
Edmonton is coming off a disappointing four-game road trip where the team was not able to win a single game. The squad was outscored 17-8 during the matchups and played three different goaltenders in a six-day span. Ilya Bryzgalov performed relatively well during his latest start against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday and allowed only three goals on a whopping 39 shots in a losing effort.
The Oilers are ranked near the bottom of just about every category and can’t put together a solid stretch of hockey. The team is ranked last in the league in goals allowed with 3.5 per game and 18th in goals scored with only 2.5 per game. Edmonton has not won consecutive games since a two-game winning streak in the middle of December.
Canucks at Oilers NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Vancouver opened as a -126 favorite over the +114 underdog Oilers. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “under” being favored at -120. Edmonton is 4-1 over its last five games played on two days of rest and has gone “over” in 11 of its last 12 home games. The squad has also hit the over in seven of its last eight Tuesday games and in nine of its last 11 overall games. Edmonton has struggled to start the year and has lost its last four matchups and seven of its last nine.
Vancouver is 2-8 over its last 10 overall matchups and 1-4 over its last five Tuesday games. The team is also 1-5 over its last six versus the Pacific Division and 0-5 over its last five road games. Vancouver has gone under in seven of its last 11 road games. Head-to-head, the home team is 5-0 over the last five matchups, while the Canucks are 8-3 during the last 11 overall meetings. The under is 6-2 over the last eight matchups between the teams.
Free NHL Picks: Canucks at Oilers Predictions
Henrik Sedin’s injury changes the complexion of this matchup. Vancouver may still be able to beat a very bad Oilers team, but the best wager to make on this game is taking the under on 5.5 goals. Both squads will probably have trouble scoring on Tuesday night, particularly since the Canucks were already struggle to put the puck in the net prior to their points leader’s injury. Take the under on this matchup.
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