Penguins vs. Oilers NHL Picks: Confidently Take Pittsburgh at -135

Swinging Johnson

Friday, November 6, 2015 6:21 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 6:21 PM UTC

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won their last five consecutive games while the Oilers are hoping to build upon their victory on Tuesday night. Let’s see what the NHL odds offer tonight.

Pittsburgh Penguins (8-4 SU, +2.9 units)
The Penguins defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Wednesday night to win their fifth straight but what might be even better news for the long term was watching Sidney Crosby finally light the lamp. Eric Fehr and David Perron also tallied while Phil Kessel had a pair of helpers as the Penguins improved to 8-1-0 after dropping their first three contests of the season. Crosby notched his second goal of the season on a 4-on-3 man advantage by taking a slick pass from Phil Kessel and beating Canucks’ netminder Ryan Miller.

One of the other bright spots has been the stellar play of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The veteran netminder has been the subject of angst for a good long time in Pittsburgh as his ability to make the impossible saves is mitigated by his propensity to allow the soft goals. But this season Fleury has been on fire with a 1.74 goals against average and a .939 save percentage complemented by a pair of shutouts. Fleury has played in all but one game this season and should be in net tonight but his status is unconfirmed as of this writing.


Edmonton Oilers (5-8 SU, -2.0 units)
The Oilers notched a win on Tuesday night but it didn’t come without some serious consequences. Rookie phenom Connor McDavid, whom Wayne Gretzky hailed as the best prospect since Mario Lemieux, broke his collarbone and will be out for at least a few months. McDavid already had five goals and seven assists in his first 12 games and copped Rookie of the Month honors for October. The Oilers will have to make do without him for what looks to be the rest of 2015.

The injury reflects a series of health issues with Jordan Eberle dealing with a shoulder problem and Justin Schultz contending with a bad back. Eberle has been working towards his recovery and could be in uniform tonight to make his season debut. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has had the hot hand recently and is among the team leaders in points and goals. Twenty-three-year-old Taylor Hall is the clubhouse leader with six goals and 10 assists on the young season.


Betting Overview
The injury to McDavid is devastating for the Oilers’ chances tonight. The Penguins come into this one riding a hot streak and Edmonton has had to scrap and scape for every win. They are 26th in goals allowed which doesn’t bode well against a team full of superstars and snipers like Pittsburgh. The Pens are 3-1 straight up over the Oilers over their last few seasons and came out with a 6-4 victory the last time they met in March.

The Penguins simply have too much firepower for this Edmonton team and even if the white hot Marc-Andre Fleury doesn’t go and backup Jeff Zatkoff gets the nod I am still including the Pens in my NHL picks in this one. The fact that Pittsburgh has been winning without scoring in bunches speaks volumes about their chances as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Entering this game they are ranked 24th in goals scored averaging only 2.3 goals per game.

But that stat is an aberration and it will only be a matter of time before their offensive engine begins to rev. However, their defense and goaltending is 2nd in the league and that is something that has lacked in the Pittsburgh teams of the past. The NHL odds makers are making it easy to choose the Penguins in this one.

NHL Pick: Penguins -135 at Bookmaker

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