I don’t know about anyone else, but the NHL schedulers are killing me. There were three games scheduled for tonight, but two were postponed due to COVID-19. We’ll be focusing on the Oilers vs. Rangers at 7:00 p.m. ET because it’s the only game going.
Of course, we’ll be using FanDuel Sportsbook to give you all the latest odds for tonight’s games.
The Oilers must be glad it’s the new year because December was not treating them well. Last month, Edmonton only won three of 11 games and ranked 20th in scoring, averaging 2.82 goals per game. The powerhouse that was the Oilers’ offense dried up in a big way. They did start January with an overtime loss to the Islanders and have lost three straight, but I think there’s still gas left in the Edmonton tank.
The Rangers ended last year and began the new year with back-to-back wins. New York beat the Lightning on December 31 and January 2. Also, the second of those two wins was a shutout victory over the Lightning. This game will be the second of a back-to-back for the Rangers, so it looks like Alexandar Georgiev will get the nod in the net. He hasn’t faired as well as Igor Shesterkin in the New York net, but how could you? Shesterkin has been one of the best goalies in the NHL, while Georgiev has posted a .902 SV% and a 2.87 GAA this season.
The Oilers’ terrible December has moved them from the second-best goal-scoring team to the eighth. They’re averaging 3.38 goals per game, which is better than the Rangers at 2.88. However, New York has been much better at keeping the puck out of its net. The Rangers are fifth in goals against per game, allowing 2.52, while Edmonton is 22nd with 3.22.
Artemi Panarin leads the Rangers in scoring, with ten goals and 26 assists in 31 games. However, Panarin was placed under COVID-19 protocols on Sunday. It’s no surprise which players lead the Oilers. Connor McDavid has 19 goals and 34 assists, and Leon Draisaitl has 25 goals and 27 assists through 32 games. Of course, McDavid and Draisaitl are still leading the NHL in scoring, sitting one and two, respectively.
Over at Fanduel Sportsbook, the over/under for McDavid and Draisaitl is set at 1.5 points per game, but both have been trending under that number since the beginning of December. However, I’m not betting against the top two scorers in the league. Their teammate, Jesse Puljujarvi, has been averaging 0.77 points per game and 0.7 since the beginning of December. Puljujarvi also enjoys time on the top line with McDavid.
I’m banking on the Oilers’ offense getting back to form and taking advantage of New York’s backup goalie. The odds for Puljujarvi are more attractive than those of either McDavid or Draisaitl, and the under seems likely since it’s set relatively high at 6.5.
The Picks: Oilers Moneyline (-125), Under 6.5 (-108), Jesse Puljujarvi – Points: Over 0.5 (-118)
All NHL predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid
Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000.