Oilers-Canucks to Slide ‘Under’ Total

Oilers player Connor McDavid

Dana Lane

Saturday, October 7, 2017 4:51 PM GMT

Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 4:51 PM GMT

Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers invade Rogers Place tonight to play their first road game against the Vancouver Canucks who are playing their first game of the season. 

First win in the books for my followers last night as the Columbus Blue Jackets easily handled the New York Islanders, 5-0. Artemi Panarin has three points to support Sergei Bobrovsky’s 29 save shutout. We increased our bet size a small amount allowing us to move to the plus side in our pursuit of building a positive bankroll for a third straight season on SBR.

 

Edmonton Oilers vs Vancouver Canucks  

Almost everyone knows that the Edmonton Oilers are going to be a contender in the west but I wrote in my last column about teams getting up for opponents who might require less of an effort to defeat. When I come across these spots I tend to focus on the ‘under’ rather than the side. The Oilers started their season with an impressive 3-0 victory against the Calgary Flames, who are also considered contenders.

When betting any total you have to have confidence in a teams defensemen and goaltending or just believe the opponent doesn’t have the firepower to take advantage of a team with defensive deficiencies. Much has been made about the Oilers defensively which is odd considering they allowed just over two and a half goals per game last season. Truth is if you have forwards like Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon, and McDavid, guys who can carry the puck, you’ll be able to limit the times you’ll call on your blue line to make stops.

The defense didn’t seem to an issue against Calgary where the Oilers allowed just 27 shots while looking as impressive as any team through game one.

Cam Talbot will get the start tonight for Edmonton while Jacob Markstrom gets the call for the Canucks. Talbot, at 6-3, 199, never seems to get too rattled despite having his consistency questioned at times. He achieved career highs in minutes, saves, and shutouts (7) in 2016-17. In front of Talbot will be Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson on their top pairing and Kris Russell with Matt Benning on the second pairing. Klefbom, at 6-3, 200, can evolve into a shutdown defender as well as play a major role on special teams. Larsson is another big guy who is a fantastic two-way defenseman. There is no doubt that Edmonton is better defensively then people give them credit for.

Markstrom is even bigger at 6-6, 199 but like Talbot could afford to fill out his frame some more. His numbers weren’t good last season but we know he has greatness inside because when on the international stage with Sweden he has performed admirably (0.66, .974 save percentage 2016-17). If Vancouver is to find success tonight they that they can’t get into a track meet with the Oilers. I expect a grind it out attack with a lot of dump-ins for my NHL picks.

 

Free NHL Picks: Under 5.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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