Prolific Canadian teams meet as Montréal visits Edmonton in what is expected to be a gunslinging contest per online betting odds. The Canadiens let one slip against Toronto in a game that saw nine total goals while the Oilers split their two-game series against the Canucks with 15 goals in total.
Edmonton is listed as a contender for the North Division’s title according to NHL betting odds and Montréal is a dark horse. If these teams share anything, it’s that they can both be explosive at the expense of defense.
The Oilers are favored to win (-145), but the team totals at +7.5 is what I’m interested in as far as sports betting picks go. Here is a preview of how both the Habs and Oilers look and why they’re scoring so many goals.
Canadiens vs Oilers
Canadiens: Missed opportunities
Montréal was this close to beating its arch-rivals, Toronto, but gave up one scoring chance too many. The Canadiens lost in overtime. The Habs went up on the Leafs three times but couldn’t keep the Leafs from the front of their own net.
The Habs were aggressive and hit Toronto 32 times while blocking 22 shot attempts. Still, they gave up the puck 13 times and one of them turned into the game-tying goal from Jimmy Vesey.
This is a young team that made NHL news last season. The Canadiens qualified for the NHL bubble despite a half-hearted rebuild attempt and then upset the Pittsburgh Penguins to make it to the playoffs.
Goaltender Carey Price wasn’t in his best form letting in five of 34 shots although the Habs’ occasional sloppy play is more to blame. Their intensity is there, they just need to tighten up and get over the missed opportunity they had against Toronto.
Oilers: The Connor McDavid Show continues
Happy birthday Connor McDavid! The NHL’s best player scored a hat trick a day after his 24th birthday and led the Oilers to a 5-2 victory. McDavid had four points in total. He made up for getting held out of the score sheet in the season opener.
It was “peak Edmonton” as the Oilers played a complete offensive game in what was another fast-paced high-scoring affair. They registered 46 shots on goal, 37 hits, and scored on two of their four power plays. But they also gave up a lot on the other end.
Edmonton coughed up the puck 12 times and surrendered 40 shots on net as well as five minor penalties. Fortunately, goaltender Mikko Koskinen was up to the task and turned back 38 of the 40 shots, a vast improvement from their season opener.
This still appears to be the one-dimensional, yet exciting, Oilers team we all know of. So long as they are firing on all cylinders, they’ll be a tough team to beat. But if Koskinen can be solid in net, they will be a serious contender.
Lots of scoring
The BetUS Sportsbook has the totals at +7.5 for this game meaning we can expect plenty of scoring. Edmonton has scored eight and given up seven while Montréal has scored four and given up five.
Scoring eight goals in total would be a tall task under most circumstances. But, consider that Edmonton has McDavid, last year’s leading scorer, LW Leon Draisaitl, and the league’s best power-play unit (29.5%). Montréal is also still struggling on the penalty kill and ranked 19th last season (78.7%).
The over has also hit in six of these teams’ last nine meetings. Plus the totals have gone over in six of Edmonton’s last seven games.
Edmonton will get their goals, but Montréal can be iffy as they are not a particularly potent team. But chalk this to the Oilers’ inconsistent defense and goaltending. They play at such a torrid pace they are prone to giveaways and surrendering scoring chances (ninth in scoring chances against in 5-on-5 play).
Seven-and-a-half is a big number, but these two should go over in what would be another back-and-forth affair.
Pick: Team totals: Over +7.5 (-110)