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NHL Tuesday best bets: Oilers to outduel Knights

Justin Berl / Getty Images Sport / Getty

We have a jam-packed night of games ahead of us, headlined by a clash between two of the Western Conference's best teams.

Let's take a closer look at the best way to attack that game - and the slate - with a pair of bets.

Oilers (-125) @ Golden Knights (+105)

Save for a healthy version of the Avalanche, I think the Oilers - with Stuart Skinner in goal - are as good as any team in the Western Conference.

The Oilers have controlled just under 55% of the high-danger chances at five-on-five over the past 10 games. They're playing very well at full strength.

Edmonton's power play is as good as anybody's and the Oilers lead the league in shorties. Thus, they'll win a ton of games when playing anywhere close to this level at five-on-five. That's what we're seeing right now, as they're 8-1-1 over the past 10 games.

Although I don't think the Golden Knights are as bad as their recent underlying metrics suggest, those numbers are certainly concerning. Vegas has controlled just over 43% of the high-danger chances over the past 10, which sandwiches it between the Canadiens and Blue Jackets. Not where you want to be.

The Golden Knights' poor numbers stem mostly from a surprising inability to defend. Across all situations, only the Blue Jackets, Ducks, Sharks, and Senators have conceded more high-danger chances over the last 10.

Even in a back-to-back situation, the Oilers are perhaps the last team you'd want to see when you're bleeding chances. That concern is only exacerbated when you're rotating through a handful of underwhelming netminders.

Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Co. don't need many opportunities in order to make you pay. With the way the Golden Knights are defending right now, they should get plenty.

The Oilers are fighting for home ice and, with a little luck, perhaps even a division title. Those hopes go out the window if they don't beat the Golden Knights tonight, and they surely know that. I expect Edmonton to come out and make a statement that it's every bit as good - if not better - than the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights.

Bet: Oilers (-125)

Canucks (-110) @ Blues (-110)

The Canucks are playing very good hockey. Great hockey, even. They have won three in a row and eight of 10, and they're full value for it.

Including all game states, the Canucks rank top five in expected goals and high-danger chance share. They're keeping company with playoff-bound teams like the Kings, Devils, and Penguins in that span.

Unsurprisingly, their ability to dominate the run of play is leading to success on the scoreboard. Vancouver has bested opponents 36-21 in aggregate over the past 10 games. Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and Co. are making magic happen nightly while, aided by the return of Thatcher Demko, the goaltending has been very good.

Rick Tocchet has the Canucks playing legitimately well at both ends of the ice. While a somewhat soft schedule has perhaps aided their numbers, that's not really the card to play when they're going up against the Blues.

The Blues have lost the expected goals battle at five-on-five in 10 straight games. That's unfathomably bad considering they've faced the Ducks, Red Wings (twice), Blue Jackets, and Sharks in that time.

They are getting outplayed each and every night and Jordan Binnington (minus-12.7 goals saved above expected) is not going to mask their problems.

While a Demko start would be ideal, I see an edge on the Canucks regardless of who's between the pipes. Don't expect them to cool off in St. Louis.

Bet: Canucks (-110)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

NHL Tuesday best bets: Oilers to outduel Knights
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