Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST.
9:05 PM EST. OT included. Motivation is not an issue here for either team, as this is one of Canada’s best and biggest rivalries whether it’s on the ice or gridiron. Edmonton will not be participating in this year’s postseason but the Flames have a legit shot to, which puts the Oilers in the role of the spoiler.
Jordie Benn of the Habs appears on a Montreal radio talk show every Monday morning and was asked about the role of the spoiler after the Canadiens beat the Islanders twice in a row last week. He said that the team LOVES playing the spoiler. He said that the Canadiens were where they were but there is great satisfaction in taking two points away from a team that needs it so badly. One can assume that every player and team not going to the playoffs is in that same mindset and that’s what makes these teams so live this time of year. They are playing motivated and under no pressure whatsoever while the pressure of the world is on these bubble teams like the Flames.
While Calgary is playing well, they come into this game off of a 5-2 loss to the Islanders in a game they deserved to win but Mike Smith was very shaky in his first game back after a month long injury. Smith is the confirmed goaltender again tonight and while Smith is having a good year and may be better here in his second game back from said injury, he might still be rusty and put forth a weak effort. It’s not like Smith has been consistently great for years, as he’s had many stretches of poor play over his career. Sean Monahan and Michael Backlund will play tonight, although both are not 100% and it is almost certain that Matthew Tkachuk will miss, as Sam Bennett skated in Tkachuk’s spot with Backlund and Frolik at the morning skate. Calgary is playing this game under immense pressure, as they sit just two points behind the Avs for the final Wild Card spot but Calgary has played two more games than Colorado and the Flames also have to leapfrog over St. Louis and Anaheim to get in. In other words, every loss is magnified and they can’t afford many more.
Meanwhile, when you have Connor McDavid playing at a high level, you can beat anyone. McDavid is a beast out there right now that seems impossible to stop. McDavid has 18 goals in his last 19 games. He has 30 points in his last 19 games and has 33 goals and 84 points in 68 games. The Oilers have won three in a row and they have fired away 36 shots or more on net in four of their past five. If they can come close to 35 shots on net in this one, they have an outstanding chance to win. Calgary should obviously be favored here but this market puts way too much value on teams that have to win as oppose to teams that are “playing for nothing”. That provides us with great opportunities this time of year, thus, the price on the Oilers here makes them instantly playable. Of course Edmonton can win.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
Edmonton +154 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.08)