Oilers Too Slick for Ducks as Spoiler Role Continues

Dana Lane

Sunday, March 25, 2018 2:56 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 25, 2018 2:56 PM UTC

Now that the playoff pressure is off, Edmonton has won four of its past five games. And with the playoff pressure still on, Anaheim has dropped four of its last five on the road.

Sunday NHL: Ducks vs. OilersFree NHL Pick: Oilers +130Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Anaheim Ducks (38-24-13, 89 points, +12 goal differential) are third in the Pacific Division. Sounds good, but Randy Carlyle knows a prolonged losing streak can keep his team out of the playoffs. The Edmonton Oilers (34-36-5, 73, -21) have been out of the playoff race for some time, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing spoiler. They beat Los Angeles 3-2 on Saturday after winning at Ottawa and Carolina by a combined 13-5. The puck drops for this Pacific Division matchup at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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VICTORY! @cmcdavid97 takes over top spot in the @NHL's scoring race & the #Oilers hang on to defeat the LA Kings 3-2! #LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/onWlmDU6eg

— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 25, 2018

It would be wise to shop for the best line on this one because the number is all over the place on the NHL odds board. The Ducks opened as -141 road favorites and the majority of the early tickets were on the Ducks, which aided the line in some spots but hasn’t moved the needle in others because the bigger money is outweighing the ticket count. At Bookmaker, the number has risen to -145 but because it’s a 20-cent line the value on the dog is still at 5Dimes, which offers a 10-cent line; therefore we are getting +127 instead of +125. The best total option out there is at Pinnacle, where it’s -105 each way with the number being 5.5.

Anaheim and Edmonton met a month ago and the Oilers earned a 6-5 shootout win on the road. Connor McDavid had three assists for Edmonton. Anaheim goaltender Ryan Miller allowed five goals on 37 shots. There were 88 combined shots -- 46 for the Ducks, 42 for the Oilers.

Tonight the Ducks are likely to start John Gibson (29-17-7, .927, 2.42 GA), while Al Montoya (4-3-2, .889, 3.42) is the Oilers' probable goaltender. Gibson is 1-0-1 against the Oilers this season but overall in Edmonton he has lost three straight -- all after regulation.

It’s not clear if Anaheim will have Ryan Getzlaf for this one; he was a late scratch Friday at Winnipeg with a stomach virus. If he’s out, that bodes well for our wager considering Getzlaf leads the Ducks in assists (45) and is second in points (56). He contributed four points in the shootout loss to the Oilers mentioned earlier.

For your NHL picks, I would wait for the market to settle a bit. I think you’ll see Ducks money pushing this number up if your particular book isn’t quite up to where 5Dimes is with its +127.

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