Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 AM EST.
Vancouver -½ +275 over EDMONTON
10:08 PM EST. Regulation only. What are we going to say about the Oilers that you already don’t know? When Connor McDavid was drafted No. 1 in 2015, the Oilers received a once-in-a-lifetime type player. He was supposed to lift the team back to the glory days but he hasn’t. In terms of betting, Connor McDavid’s value is equal to Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers. Point is, one player in hockey cannot influence the game like one player in football can.
Perhaps this is the year for the Oilers or perhaps they’ll just end up being the most exciting and interesting middle of the pack team to follow the entire season. Time will tell.
Free Agent Additions: Zach Hyman, Duncan Keith (trade from Blackhawks), Cody Ceci, Warren Foegele (trade from Hurricanes), Slater Koekkoek, Brendan Perlini, Derek Ryan, Colton Sceviour (PTO).
Free Agent Subtractions: Adam Larsson (Kraken expansion draft), Ethan Bear (trade to Hurricanes), Caleb Jones (trade to Blackhawks), James Neal (buyout, then Blues), Dmitry Kulikov (Wild), Jujhar Khaira (Blackhawks).
Obviously, Zach Hyman was a great addition. Duncan Keith, not so much unless one were to count experience. We suppose he could mentor but he does not improve the Oilers defense, which is where we’ll start and end with this analysis of the Oil. Offense is not the problem. Edmonton’s problem has been keeping the puck out of their own end and frankly, they did nothing to improve on defense or to improve in goal. Onc could easily argue that the Oilers got worse behind the blue line and not better, essentially leaving them no better off than the underachieving team they’ve been since McDavid arrived.
Seriously, aside from a mega-superstar are these Canucks any different than Edmonton. Both are loaded with offense and have questions on defense. However, unlike the Oil, the Canucks have stability in goal. We woujld argue that the Canucks are superior to the Oilers in every way and nobody is talking about them. If Vancouver is in the Pacific Division conversation, it's a point being made about their middle of the road (at best) expectations in the market. That the Canucks are under the radar should serve us well here in the early going. This was a team that was expected to take a step forward last year but underachieved spectacularly. Between the losing and the COVID outbreak, it’s easy to see why there is little curb appeal in the Canucks, but our position is that they're one of the early under the radar teams.
Free Agent Additions: Conor Garland (trade from Coyotes), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (trade from Coyotes). Jason Dickinson (trade from Stars), Jaroslav Halak, Brad Hunt, Phillip Di Giuseppe, Justin Dowling, Tucker Poolman, Luke Schenn
Free Agent Subtractions: Nate Schmidt (traded to Jets), Alex Edler (Kings), Braden Holtby (Stars), Kole Lind (Kraken expansion draft), Jalen Chatfield (Hurricanes), Antoine Roussel (traded to Coyotes), Loui Eriksson (traded to Coyotes), Jay Beagle (traded to Coyotes).
Oliver Ekman-Larson is just 30 years old, but the pundits would have you believe it was time to take him out behind the barn. As a #2 defenseman behind Quinn Hughes, a team and its power play unit could do a lot worse. The commitment to Thatcher Demko between the pipes should only boost the kid’s confidence and his profile. The Canucks roll out three pretty damn good lines and have depth on defense. Priced in this range against the always overvalued Oilers, we'll gladly take our chances here.
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Vancouver -½ +275 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 5.50)