NHL Picks: Oilers vs. Canadiens

David Lawrence

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 12:25 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 12:25 PM UTC

We turn our focus to the north of the border matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens in hopes of finding some sort of edge for our evening's NHL picks. Have the odds makers left us any openings tonight?

The Edmonton Oilers are struggling to get going in the early part of the NHL regular season, and now they may be missing one of their best players as Taylor Hall has a knee injury. He likely won’t be in the lineup when the Oilers visit the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night but the Canadiens have a couple of injuries to worry about also as Daniel Briere and Brandon Prust are hurt.

NHL odds first opened the Canadiens as solid -210 favorites, and that number has held firm through early betting action. Those who prefer to place their sports picks on the total can decide which side of 5.5 they prefer.

Check our SBR's NHL Picks of the Day for more free hockey betting options.

The Edmonton Oilers can win because…

Despite their struggles, the Oilers are still a solid offensive team. They have scored 25 goals in their first nine games, which is 10th in the league. People who make their NHL picks know that the usual suspects are filling up the scoresheet for this team as Jordan Eberle has eight points, along with Hall and Mark Arcobello. David Perron and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins aren’t far behind with six apiece. The Oilers can hurt a lot of team with their speed; from one end of the ice to the other, there aren’t many teams in the NHL that can skate with Edmonton.

However, it is at the other end of the ice that the Oilers have to be more diligent and their forwards could take a lesson from Eberle, who is turning into a top two-way player. Eberle is +5 on the season, which leads the team. Then you have Nugent-Hopkins, who is a -6. The goaltenders are taking heat but the team in front of them could do better and that starts with the forwards. 

The Montreal Canadiens can win because…

Like the Oilers, the Canadiens are also strong offensively, which is a bit of a change from recent seasons. Montreal is ninth in goals scored with 26 goals in eight games with P.K. Subban’s 10 points leading the way. Subban, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, is also sparking a power play that is ninth in the NHL, scoring at a 22.9% clip. The Habs are turning into a much more dynamic team, which excites their fans and makes for a more watchable team.

But the major difference between the Canadiens and Oilers is that Montreal has a goalie: Carey Price. Experts who make sports picks know that he can steal games for them when they get exposed at the back. Price he has a 2.02 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Those are much better numbers than either of Edmonton’s goalies have been able to muster.


Outlook & Pick

It’s almost worth it to take a shot with the Oilers. Yes, they’ve been struggling but they are coming off a quality 3-1 win in Ottawa in their latest contest. Montreal is without Briere, Max Pacioretty and Brandon Prust, and they’re also just 2-2-0 at home. It’s a longshot but I’d rather a small play on the Oilers than lay -200 with the Habs.

Pick: Oilers +180 at Bookmaker

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