OKBET NHL Odds, Preview, And Prediction: Oilers Vs. Blackhawks (October 27)

OKBET NHL Odds, Preview, And Prediction: Oilers Vs. Blackhawks (October 27)

Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers will travel to the United Center to face the Chicago Blackhawks, who are riding a four-game winning streak and currently sit third in the Central Division. This season, rested home teams have dominated road teams on the second leg of a back-to-back.

With that in mind, and Chicago having a better record, are the -200 favorites in Edmonton really deserving of this spot?

The Edmonton Oilers

There aren’t many teams where a 4-3-0 start to the season could be considered somewhat disappointing, but that is exactly the case for an Oilers team that many believe will finally break through with a Cup Final berth this season.

Even so, as an Oilers skeptic, 4-3-0 is simply not bad when you consider the notably tough slate of competition faced overall, and you could even go so far as to say that’s a record few teams could manage to this point.

Edmonton has faced off against the Flames, Hurricanes, Penguins, Blues (twice), and Sabres. Buffalo is the only team in that group that is likely to be below average this season, but the Sabres have a 4-2-0 record and have looked very respectable.

Edmonton has a 50.17 xGF% through seven games, which is a very strong control of the overall play when you have lethal playmakers and finishers who are very likely to outscore the expected goal production rate.

This season, the Oilers have allowed the league’s fifth highest xGA/60 rating of 3.64, but have generated a 3.66 xGF/60 rating and are once again playing notably high event hockey.

That is simply the nature of Edmonton’s team, as the Oilers’ defensive core will not allow it to be a defensive juggernaut, but that flaw can be concealed by arguably the league’s most talented offensive core.

Thursday, on the other hand, should provide a great opportunity for Edmonton’s team defensive play to look far more reasonable, giving Jack Campbell a better chance to find a win than he has had thus far. Campbell has a -1.8 goals saved above expected rating and an.895 save percentage in five appearances this season.

Campbell is not likely to be a significantly above-average starting option this season, but I believe his overall performance is better than those numbers suggest and that a stronger stat-line is possible in this spot.

Blackhawks of Chicago

In contrast to the Oilers, Chicago’s roster is very likely to underachieve its expected offensive rates in terms of total goals scored, as the roster lacks finishing talent and elite playmaking ability.

However, the Blackhawks have scored 4.97 goals more than expected this season, which is the most obvious reason for this team’s start, as everything is going in the net. Six games is a small sample size, and when the team shooting percentage stabilizes, as it should, Chicago’s offense will look much more like what we expected at the start of the season.

Chicago has an xGF% of 44.02, which is much more in line with what we would expect from the Blackhawks’ notably thin roster. Another area where the Blackhawks are likely to regress significantly is goal, where Alex Stalock has performed admirably.

This season, he has a 938 save percentage and +3.9 goals saved above his expected rating. Stalock had far below-average results in the AHL last season, and at 35, it appears unlikely that such a significant improvement in form will be sustained in the future.

Oilers vs. Blackhawks

When we examine everything that has led to Chicago’s 4-2-0 record, it is clear that very little appears likely to be sustainable moving forward, which leads me to believe that Chicago is overvalued to win this game, even as heavy underdogs.

Edmonton’s modest 4-3-0 record also works in our favor, and I love that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both stated this summer how difficult it is to even return to the playoffs. Nobody in the league can effectively matchup with those two, but Chicago’s ability to do so is certainly below average, and I expect McDavid and Draisaitl to break through with some big performances tonight after a tight affair last night.

I believe +110 for the Oilers to cover the puck-line in this spot is the right number for Edmonton to expose Chicago on Thursday night.

Edmonton Oilers -1.5 +110 (Bet to +100)

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