The Oilers vs Canadiens game tonight will mark just their fourth contest of the season, which is slightly surprising given the current format of the NHL schedule. What comes with it tonight is true unpredictability in its purest form.
What is predictable however, is that this Oilers vs Canadiens game will be one you absolutely should not miss.
Oilers (22-13-1) vs Canadiens (14-8-9) Betting Odds and Time
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Oilers vs Canadiens Season Series in Review
Despite being an objectively worse team, the Canadiens have bested the Oilers in two of three contests this year, out-scoring them by a total of 8-5 in the process.
The Oilers currently reside in the third spot in the Scotia Bank North Division , and need to start taking advantage of all the point opportunities out there from the lower teams in the division if they want to keep pace with the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs, who they trail by one and two points, respectively.
The Canadiens are very much one of those lower teams, but are currently sitting in fourth, just one spot back from the Oilers in the division. They also trail them by just eight points, despite carrying a much worse record. There is still a ton of hockey left to be played in this 2021 NHL season, but these kind of interdivision games are quickly approaching “must win” territory for the Oilers.
Though, I find it’s always important to take the two teams’ previous matchups into consideration when placing an NHL bet, I am confident that you can throw all of that out the window tonight.
Oilers vs Canadiens Game Preview
The reason I say you can throw it all out is because these two teams are both in similar, and mostly unprecedented situations. They both have had to endure an extended COVID break within the last 10 days, and they both have played multiple overtime games in a row coming into tonight.
The Oilers have played just two games since March 20th. Both of them went to overtime, resulting in one win and one loss against the Maple Leafs.
The Canadiens, on the other hand, have not played a single game since that same date of March 20th, and rode a three-game overtime streak into the break, consisting of two losses and a shootout victory.
So, which team do you trust more? Do you take the well-rested, but potentially rusty option? Or do you ride with what is obviously the better team, but just played last night and will potentially be bested by their own dead legs?
Oilers at Canadiens Prediction and Best Bet
As I said at the beginning, this one is truly unpredictable. It has NHL bettors split down the middle, with 56% of public money currently on the Oilers. I encourage all of you to digest this information, then use your hockey sense and your gut to make your pick tonight. There is no wrong side to be on in a game like this.
I’ve been going back and forth all morning. My gut says Oilers, while my brain says Canadiens.
Many gamblers may just lay off a game like this altogether. It is better to have conviction than internal debate, isn’t it? But, that just isn’t me. I will be betting this game, and I will be taking the…. Oilers – by a hair.
In the end I just think they are the better team, and that their offensive abilities will be able to carry them past any possible defensive struggles that may arise due to the amount of hockey they will have played within the span of 24 hours.
Again, I just wanted to provide you with some information here, to help you make your best decision. Trust your gut. Mine says Oilers.
**Here’s a little bonus nugget for you. I do think this game will be close, and maybe even see overtime. The Canadiens are fantastic at forcing over time, doing so 10 times this season, which is equivalent to 33% of all games played.
What they are not great at is winning in OT, as they were losers of nine straight in the extra period before finally picking up a victory during that aforementioned March 20th game, where they beat the Canucks in a shootout.
The Oilers like to get things done in regulation, having seen only three OT games all season, of which they have won two. Three OT games at this point of the season is rather low, and with the current streak both these teams are on, it could be the perfect storm for another.*
Oilers vs Canadiens Picks
Oilers ML (EVEN)
Game to go to OT – Yes (Odds vary at every book. Some may not offer it at all)