Blackhawks vs. Oilers Betting Preview
The No. 5 seed Edmonton Oilers face off against the No. 12 seed Chicago Blackhawks in a best-of-five series in the NHL’s qualification round, starting Saturday, August 1. The two teams are battling for the right to advance to the 16-team Stanley Cup tournament.
Looking over the Oilers vs. Blackhawks odds entering the series, Edmonton is heavily favored, which makes sense given that Chicago had a small chance of just making the playoffs before the season was suspended. Both teams have a lot of offensive firepower, but it’s the Oilers that were performing much better.
To compare Oilers vs. Blackhawks odds across various sportsbooks, as well as other games from around the NHL, be sure to take a look at the odds comparison tool. As always, it pays to line shop for the best price, and the odds comparison tool is a great way to shop the best Oilers vs. Blackhawks lines.
Edmonton’s Biggest Edge Comes On the Power Play
Edmonton is expected to be healthy, with the exception of trade-deadline acquisition Mike Green. The defenseman is opting out of the postseason.
Offensively, The Oilers do feature the top two points leaders from the regular season in Leon Draisaitl (110 points) and Connor McDavid (97 points). Although the Oilers are towards the bottom of the league in 5-on-5 scoring percentage, they are dangerous on special teams. Edmonton’s big edge will be on the power play, which was ranked first in the NHL at 29.5 percent. Chicago was ranked 28th. Edmonton was also second in the NHL in penalty kills.
During the regular season, Edmonton was a middling 14th in goals for per game (3.14) and 15th in goals against per game (3.30). In goal, Edmonton will ride the hot hand between Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen.
Chicago’s Defense and Goaltending Could Be Big Problems
Chicago had similar but slightly lower numbers. The Blackhawks finished in 18th in goals for per game at 2.97 and 17th in goals against per game at 3.06. The Blackhawks are widely considered one of the worst overall defenses in the NHL.
The Blackhawks enter the qualification round as the team with the worst seed in the West. They have significant injuries as forward Andrew Shaw opted out with a concussion. Defenseman Brent Seabrook will be unavailable after undergoing multiple surgeries. Fellow defenseman Connor Murphy’s status is undecided as he nurses a groin injury.
Chicago features one of the worst overall defenses in the league so goaltender Corey Crawford will be called upon to help carry his team through the round. Crawford enters the series with limited training time. He missed the start of training camp with the Blackhawks after he tested positive for COVID-19. Crawford was the starting goaltender for two of the three recent Blackhawks Stanley Cup victories.
Offensively, the Blackhawks have a slight advantage. They’re led by Patrick Kane, who led the Blackhawks in goals with 33 and in points with 84 in 70 games. Kane has playoff experience, taking part in 127 postseason games.
The Blackhawks won two of three games against Edmonton during the regular season. Betting that this series will go five games could be popular at its current odds.