Ottawa Senators @ Edmonton Oilers – Rogers Place at 01:00
For my final NHL Handicap Betting Preview of the week I’ll be covering the all-Canadian showdown between Ottawa and Edmonton. This is an intriguing match-up that I hope to gain some value from.
Mixed Fortunes in Ottawa
Ottawa have started their campaign in a predictably inconsistent manner. They started off with two straight wins against rivals Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. The major concern going into this game is the heavy losses that they have been on the receiving end of. In their 3 losses this season they have conceded 14 goals in 3 games. This coincides with the goalie situation in Ottawa. Starting goalie Craig Anderson recently took an absence of leave as his wife was diagnosed with Cancer. Backup Andrew Hammond sustained another injury at Calgary after missing the first two weeks of the season to a groin injury.
The Senators are in that awkward position of not being a legitimate contender nor being one of the weaker teams in the league. Therefore they find themselves in an uneasy situation. For my first Handicap Betting Preview for the season I covered the Sens. I suggested that their defense was a work in progress, due to having a lack of mobile, puck moving back-enders.
I was expecting to see more of Thomas Chabot to relieve the duties of captain Erik Karlsson. He has only played once for the Senators and may be sent back to his junior team in the coming weeks.The 2015 first round pick is a smooth skating defenseman who participated in last year’s World Junior Championships with Canada.
Edmonton are Flyin’
The surprise package for the campaign so far are the Edmonton Oilers. They have already taken a stronghold on the Pacific Division with a 7-1 record. This is a far cry from the side that had a 31-43-8 record and finished at the foot of the Western Conference last year. This could be the much-needed turning point for this historic franchise. They have long been derided as a failure for the past decade or so. This additionally ties in with the fact that they’ve had the first overall picks in four of the last seven drafts. However last year, the hockey gods descended on central Alberta as they won the lottery and selected Connor McDavid. We saw glimpses of improvement last year, but it wasn’t consistent. McDavid was also injured for a large of chunk of last season. He played only 45 games, however he scored 48 points in the process and was therefore a point a game player.
The biggest offseason move for the Oilers was the Taylor Hall trade that saw him move to New Jersey in return for defenseman Adam Larsson. Many in the hockey stratosphere believed that Edmonton had given up too much to get Larsson. The 6″3 Swede didn’t exactly set the world alight in New Jersey. Although Hall was prolific for the Oilers, it could be deemed that he tried to do too much that therefore led to long term injuries.
McDavid was a shoo-in for the captaincy after Hall’s departure. He was duly given the honour and on reflection so far it has been justified.
Sophomore Connor McDavid leads the league in points with 12 (5 goals, 7 assists). Senators captain is the fourth-highest point scoring defenseman with 8 points.
I’m predicting another goal fest as Ottawa are in limbo at the moment with their goalies and Edmonton are on a 5 game winning streak that I cannot see them losing in this encounter especially with the value at stake.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Edmonton -0.5 at 2.14 (excluding OT) and Over 5.5 goals at 1.90
Prices correct at time of writing.
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