NHL Picks: Oilers vs. Maple Leafs

David Lawrence

Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:08 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 12:08 PM UTC

Hockey Night in Canada will feature an all-Canadian matchup on Saturday night as the Edmonton Oilers visit the Toronto Maple Leafs. Let's review the teams and the betting lines for our NHL picks.

Edmonton entered the season with plenty of promise but has been an absolute gong show with just one win on four games. Can they straighten out against the Toronto Maple Leafs or will the trends for both teams continue?

Record: 14-25 (-769)

The Edmonton Oilers can win because…

The Leafs haven’t played great at home. For all of the hype surrounding the blue and white, they are still only 1-1 at home this season. That includes a 5-4 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators and a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. While the Leafs are 3-0-0 on the road, it appears fairly clear that they are a bit more vulnerable at home.

There aren’t a lot of good things you can say about the Oilers right now as they are the worst team in the Western Conference but if the Leafs can’t pick up their play at home, the Oilers are going to have a chance to win this game on the road.

The Toronto Maple Leafs can win because…

Jonathan Bernier is playing out of his mind right now. Bernier was expected to come in and challenge incumbent James Reimer for the job but people making their sports picks have seen Bernier absolutely steal the job away from Reimer. Through four games this season, Bernier is 3-1 with a 0.84 GAA and a .974 GAA. When the Leafs host the Oilers on Saturday night, they are going to have a huge edge between the pipes.

See our NHL Picks of the Day right here~

The Leafs are playing with plenty of confidence these days as they are shockingly the top team in the Eastern Conference right now. Sure, the standings are a bit topsy-turvy in the early goings but let’s face it: the Pittsburgh Penguins just lost 6-3 in Florida on Friday night and the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurriacnes are third and fourth in the conference. This is really anyone’s game.

No team in the East has scored more goals than Toronto and with Bernier playing the way he is, it’s going to be tough to bet against him on the NHL odds.

Outlook & Pick

The Oilers have been awful to start the season. They are just 1-3-0 and their only win has come with Jason LaBarbera in net (Monday’s 5-4 win over the New Jersey Devils). Lead goaltender Devan Dubnyk has been a mess with a 5.28 GAA and a horrendous .847 save percentage. At this point, you’d be crazy to be backing the Oilers as they haven’t shown any reason that they are worth your money to start the season.

It’s entirely possible that the Leafs don’t take the Oilers seriously (as they did the Avalanche earlier this week) or that their home-ice advantage continues not to be much of an edge. However, the Oilers are playing so poorly that it’s not even worth considering.

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Toronto is a fairly sizable favorite for our NHL picks, but as mentioned previously, I won’t lay that type of juice. That being the case, take the under as the Oilers haven’t scored consistently and Bernier has been lights out.

NHL Pick: Under 5.5 at BET 365

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