NHL weekend betting preview: Value bets for Friday and Saturday's slates
Gerry Thomas / National Hockey League / Getty

We split again Thursday to take our current run to 12-4.

Let's try to push back on a few splits in a row now with a sweep of this weekend's card.

Oilers (+100) @ Flames (-120)
Feb. 19, 9 p.m. ET

Round 2 of the Battle of Alberta is slated for Friday night, with the third installment to follow Saturday. We backed the Calgary Flames in the first meeting a couple of weeks ago and were rewarded with a 6-4 win, but we're changing course tonight.

The Edmonton Oilers have been on a bit of a tear since then, with four wins from five. It's not just that they're winning, though, but more about how they're winning. They've controlled 58% of the expected goal share and generated 3.3 expected goals per 60 minutes across the last five games, and enter this rematch as one of the league's hottest offenses.

To make matters worse for a suddenly struggling Flames side, David Rittich will get the start tonight in the first game of this back-to-back, with Jacob Markstrom finally getting a breather. There's a massive difference between the two netminders; since the start of last season, Rittich has a minus-4.69 GSAA compared to an 11.56 mark for Markstrom. He hasn't started a game since Feb. 2, and this is a brutal first game back in the crease against an Oilers offense firing on all cylinders.

Pick: Oilers (+100)

Panthers (-170) @ Red Wings (+150)
Feb. 20, 5 p.m.

The lookahead line for this game is about on par with what's being offered in the first leg of the back-to-back on Friday, but any significant movement will likely be toward the Florida Panthers. That works in our favor, as I'm circling the Detroit Red Wings as a great value bet in this spot.

With Chris Driedger confirmed as Friday's starter, Sergei Bobrovsky will man the crease in Saturday's rematch. That's a massive drop-off in goal for the Panthers, from Driedger's 3.91 GSAA and 1.36 GSAx to Bobrovsky's minus-5.11 GSAA and minus-8.18 GSAx. The Russian netminder's performances have fallen off a cliff since signing his megadeal, and it's hard to justify laying this sort of juice on Florida with him in goal.

The Red Wings go from Thomas Greiss to Jonathan Bernier, with the difference between the two negligible. Results have been hard to come by for them, but the underlying numbers suggest better days are ahead. They've been very competitive of late, proving a tough out as a really strong unit at five-on-five.

DATE OPPONENT xGF% (5-on-5)
Jan. 30 Panthers 63.9%
Jan. 31 Panthers 50.77%
Feb. 3 Lightning 36.76%
Feb. 5 Lightning 66.1%
Feb. 7 Panthers 57.66%
Feb. 9 Panthers 52.65%
Feb. 11 Predators 49.28%
Feb. 13 Predators 53.78%
Feb. 15 Blackhawks 62.2%
Feb. 17 Blackhawks 51.89%

Included in this stretch are four games against the Panthers, of which the Wings had the better of play in each. They deserved more than a 1-2-1 record, but each of those three losses was by a single goal, while the win was a convincing 4-1 result. With Bobrovsky essentially assured of the start, this is the perfect spot to back Detroit to get back into the win column at a generous price.

Pick: Red Wings (+150 or better)

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

Alex Moretto is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, despises how the NHL handles starting goalie announcements, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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NHL weekend betting preview: Value bets for Friday and Saturday's slates
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