Skip to content

Oilers to best Bruins in battle of powerhouses Wednesday night

Jonathan Kozub / National Hockey League / Getty

Find year-round coverage of betting news and insights for all sports by visiting our Betting section and subscribing to push notifications.

Headlined by a clash between two of the league's top teams, we have a small but juicy five-game slate Wednesday night.

Let's look at the best ways to attack it.

Bruins (+120) @ Oilers (-140)

The Oilers have been the NHL's best team over the last few months and continue to be worth backing on a nightly basis.

Edmonton has as much high-end talent as anybody, and the process to match it. The club has consistently out-chanced opponents, controlling nearly 60% of the expected goals share at five-on-five in February.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the Oilers - equipped with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, etc. - will win a ton of games if those guys are getting more opportunities to score than their opponents.

That should again be the case versus the Bruins, who have stumbled a bit lately. They've won just four of the past 10 games, and their underlying metrics are heading in the wrong direction.

Boston has posted a 48% expected goals share at five-on-five in February, sandwiching it between the Canadiens and Blue Jackets. That's not where you want to be as a contender.

The Bruins have it in them to be much better than that. They also generally have enough firepower - not to mention goaltending - to compensate when they're not grinding out those edges in chances.

But it's a tall order to ask them to do that against the Oilers. Boston doesn't have the edges in top-tier talent or depth compared to Edmonton, and it doesn't have the centers to match up. The Bruins' five-on-five process is also weaker. And the Stuart Skinner we've seen over the past few months can match the level of goaltending we generally see from Boston's great tandem.

With the Oilers playing such a well-rounded game and having home ice, there's value in backing them to take care of business Wednesday.

Bet: Oilers (-140)

Blue Jackets (-105) @ Ducks (-115)

Elvis Merzlikins started in goal Tuesday night for the Blue Jackets. That means they'll turn to Daniil Tarasov in the latter half of their road back-to-back.

Goals tend to come in bunches when Tarasov is between the pipes. He's conceded at least three goals in nine of 11 appearances this season, averaging a hair under four per game.

Tarasov owns a .877 save percentage and has allowed nearly 11 goals above expectation. That's no small feat considering Columbus gives up a lot of chances and expected goals.

The Ducks won't be mistaken for an offensive juggernaut any time soon, but they can score. They've netted three-plus goals in seven of the past nine games and are poised to do it again versus a struggling goalie like Tarasov.

Anaheim also ranks 28th in shot suppression and 27th in goals allowed per contest. It's a bad defensive team with up-and-down goaltending, and no club has spent more time shorthanded per game this campaign.

This is a good matchup for the Blue Jackets - who surprisingly rank ninth in five-on-five goals over the last 10 contests - to net a few of their own.

I see this as a high-event, back-and-forth affair, and I like it to go over the number.

Bet: Over 6.5 (-110)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X at @ToddCordell.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox