These are two of the worst teams in the league right now but that doesn’t mean anything when they get on the ice. If anything, the Oilers and Flyers will have plenty of motivation to put forth their best effort because they desperately need all the wins they can get at this point before they’re completely out of the playoff hunt.
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The Oilers have actually been dominant in this matchup, winning seven and tying one (back in October 2002) of their last 10 meetings with the Flyers, with six games coming in under the posted total (and one push as well). In Philadelphia, the Oilers have won five and tied once in their last 10 trips to visit the Flyers, and again, there were six unders and a push when it comes to the posted total.
The Edmonton Oilers can win because…
They can still score and it seems as though they need to reach the three-goal mark in order to increase their chances of victory. All four of Edmonton’s wins so far this season have come when they’ve scored three goals or more, and even though they have lost three games when scoring three goals, at least that amount gives them a decent shot to win. Their 41 goals through 17 games is still only good for 21st in the league, but hey, it’s something for the Oilers, who may have a mental edge in this matchup due to their recent dominance over the Flyers. Also, three of Edmonton’s wins have come on the road.
The Oilers are dead last in goals allowed with 65 but the good news is the Flyers don’t score much. That’s why the Oilers are worth adding to your sports picks on Saturday.
The Philadelphia Flyers can win because…
Philadelphia is actually a decent defensive team and their 42 goals allowed ranks them 15th in the NHL right now. Steve Mason is giving the Flyers some solid goaltending, while Ray Emery….well, we know from the Washington brawl that he can fight. Mason is holding the Flyers in a lot of these games that they are losing, posting a 2.37 GAA and a .925 save percentage, and that is really all you can expect from your goalie – especially on a bad team. There haven’t been many positives for the Flyers, who traded for Steve Downie to try and spark the club, but Mason has definitely been their best player. That’s better than what the Oilers can say these days. No matter who they’ve put in net, they’ve been giving up goals in hordes. The Flyers will have an edge in that category and that’s why they’re worth an investment on the NHL odds.
Outlook & Pick
As bad as the Oilers have been, the Flyers have been their equal. You’d have to be crazy right about now to lay -150 with the Flyers – even if their opponent is the worst team in the Western Conference. The Oilers have played well in this series and given the value on the lines, I’ll add them to my NHL picks.
Free NHL Pick: Oilers +130 at William Hill