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NHL Betting Preview: Canucks vs Oilers Game 1

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks move on to the second round in an All-Canadian matchup against the Edmonton Oilers. Both teams are well rested, with Vancouver having five days off while Edmonton had the whole week off. In this NHL Betting article, you’ll be up to date with all the current Canucks odds and trends from this series to help you win a little bit of extra money this playoff season! 

Oilers vs. Canucks Odds

  • Edmonton Oilers Moneyline Odds: -140
  • Vancouver Canucks Moneyline Odds: +120
  • Puck Line Odds: Oilers -1.5 (+180), Canucks +1.5 (-220)
  • Game Total: 6.0 goals (over -120, under +100)
  • Time/Date: May 8th, 7:00 PM PST
  • TV: Sportsnet, CBC
All odds courtesy of bet365.

Last Matchup

Game 6 summarized the Canucks series against the Predators pretty well. A close, low-scoring game with a Canucks late surge to win the game. But now, they face an entirely different stylistic team in the Oilers.

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I’ll give out some first-round player of the series awards for each position before we look ahead to Edmonton.
Forwards-wise, I’d give it to Brock Boeser. He had points in every Canucks win in the first round, including the game-winning goal in Game 3, the hat-trick in regulation to solidify the comeback in Game 4, and the no-look back pass on Pius Suter’s series-clinching goal with 1:30 left in Game 6. 
Defensive-wise, it has to go to Nikita Zadorov. He came up clutch to electrify the fans on home ice in Game 2 and Game 5. He played the fourth-most minutes of any Canuck player, tied Quinn Hughes for the lead in shots on goal from defencemen and trailed only Dakota Joshua in total hits in the series. He’s the prototypical playoff-type defenceman that the Canucks are going to need against the Oilers.
Goaltending-wise, it’s got to be the Arty Party, no? The very inexperienced goalie played when the pressure was the highest and was cool as a cucumber. He went 2-1, allowing only one goal against and had the series-winning shutout. Let’s see if he can replicate the bubble Demko run. 
Vancouver won all four games to sweep the regular season series against Edmonton, where they outscored the Oilers 21-7. Three of these games came before November 7th; now, the Oilers are a much different team under new coach Kris Knoblauch. Vancouver’s fourth win came without the likes of Thatcher Demko, but Edmonton was also short-handed as they were without Connor McDavid. It will be an exciting, hard-fought series that I expect to go the distance. 
Check out Daily Faceoff for all the updates regarding the line combinations and goaltenders for Tuesday’s matchup.

Handicapping the Oilers (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS, 4-1 O/U)

Edmonton made light work of the Los Angeles Kings in the first round for the third straight season, winning in one less game every year. The Oilers are the massive favourites for the series, as -250 favourites. This seems a tad mispriced, given how they matched up against each other in the regular season. 
Stuart Skinner is going to be the X-factor in this series. In the regular season against Vancouver, the Oilers’ goaltending had -8.32 goals saved above expected. With a negative rating, they allowed 8.32 goals against that they should have saved. In the first round, Skinner had +0.21 goals saved above expected. While it’s a massive improvement, it’s still not as though he’s stealing the show.
Vancouver plays with a defence-first mentality. They wait until you make a mistake and pounce on it. This doesn’t bode well for the Oilers, especially their defenceman. The Oilers’ top three defencemen ranked in the top 20 in giveaways this season, with Evan Bouchard leading the entire league with 82. The Edmonton defence corps will need to keep the turnovers at the minimum if the Canucks play the way they want, and it ends up being a defensive show. 

Handicapping the Canucks (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS, 2-4 O/U)

Vancouver’s defensive play against Nashville worked. However, they will need to change some things to match up against Edmonton. The Canucks seemed to walk in and out of the penalty box all series, with 22 penalties to the Predators’ 13. If they want to win this series, they can’t be as undisciplined against the Oilers. Edmonton went 9/20 on the powerplay in the opening round against the Kings, who had the second-best penalty kill in the regular season. If they can make the Kings penalty kill look like that, imagine how they’re going to make the Canucks 17th ranked penalty kill look.
The Canucks are going to be able to expose the Edmonton defence by the long-stretch passes and capitalizing on the rush. In the Kings’ lone victory over the Oilers in Game 2, four of the five goals came off the rush.  
Guess who led the Canucks in rush chances? Conor Garland. I expect him to have a great series against the Oilers. J.T. Miller handles Connor McDavid quite well, so his lines will likely match each other. This means Garland’s line will probably be matched up against the Draisaitl line, who I’ve highlighted can get caught puck-watching in my latest “The Tape” series. 

Canucks vs. Predators Injury News

Adam Henrique is out for Game 1 with an illness. 
Thatcher Demko remains out with a knee injury. His reported return won’t be until after Game 4.

Projected Lineups

No lineup changes for the Canucks. After his series-clinching shutout in Game 6 against the Nashville Predators, Arturs Silovs gets the nod tonight.
Mattias Janmark gets promoted to the top-line left wing alongside Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman, filling in for Henrique. Connor Brown takes his spot in the lineup. He’ll play on the fourth line with Warren Foegele and Derek Ryan. 

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Team Betting Trends

  • Vancouver went 4-0 in the regular season against Edmonton.
  • Edmonton is 4-1 in their last five games as a favourite.
  • Vancouver is 8-2 against the spread in their previous 10 games against Edmonton as an underdog.
  • Edmonton is 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 road games.

Player Prop Betting Trends

  • Leon Draisaitl finds a different gear in the playoffs. He’s cleared his over 2.5 shots on goal line in four of five first-round games, averaging 4.6 shots on 6.8 shot attempts. In four games against the Canucks this season, he’s covered this line in three games, averaging 4.3 shots on 7.5 shot attempts. 
  • Conor Garland has gone over his 1.5 shot on goal line in three straight games and 77% of all 82 games he played this season, averaging 2.4 shots on 4.6 attempts. Against the Oilers this season, he has covered this line in three of four games, averaging 3.5 shots on 4.3 shot attempts. 
  • Back to Draisaitl, he scored five goals in five games against the Kings in round one and has goals in seven of his last nine games against the Canucks.
  • Brock Boeser had a point in four of six games in the first round, averaging a point per game. Against the Oilers this season, he had seven points in four games, including four goals on opening night.

Best Bets for Canucks Army

  • With the shooting prowess of Draisaitl, both in the playoffs and against the Canucks, we’ll be taking Leon Draisaitl over 2.5 shots on goal at -160 odds. 
  • I’m putting my money where my mouth is, thinking Conor Garland is going to have a good series, and betting on Conor Garland points at +125 odds. 
  • One more for funzies? Let’s parlay two from the player prop trends and bet on Leon Draisaitl Point & Conor Garland over 1.5 shots on goal at -120 odds.

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