Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Edmonton +120 over N.Y. Rangers
9:00 PM EST. OT included. The Rangers are on our radar as an old, slow, and overvalued team that was exposed during the playoffs last season when the youthful and exuberant Devils sent them packing from the first round of the playoffs. So far this season, the Rangers are 4-2, but they have played a weak schedule that ranks just 28th of 32 teams. The Rangers' wins have come over Buffalo, Arizona, Seattle, and Calgary, of which only one (Kraken) made the playoffs last season. In that game against the Flames on Tuesday night, the Rangers were outplayed by Calgary in every aspect, but the Rags racked up a pair of power-play goals, which was enough to be the difference. Power-play goals are luck-based and cannot be counted on from game to game. We never factor in a team’s power play or penalty killing into our process because those units go hot and cold as the wind blows.
We appreciate how difficult the Oilers are going to be to wager on tonight after a 1-4-1 start, that ugly 7-4 loss in Minnesota on Tuesday night, and in light of the injury to Connor McDavid, who will not play against the Rangers. However, that is precisely why we must come back here and back the Oilers despite all of their hardships.
We know that often when a star player is missing from the lineup, it’s a rallying point and an extra bit of motivation for everyone. With Connor McDavid out and the Oilers laboring, there is not a better time for them to rally in support of their fallen teammate. Just look at the Chicago Bears on Sunday when they played without QB Justin Fields. Rather than wilt, the Bears rallied around their backup, who played Division II ball, and they won that game. That game has nothing to do with this one, obviously, but we hope you take our point.
Not only is the Oilers' stock low, but the “injury chasers” will be out in full force as they look to pick the bones of a team that will be without the greatest player in the world, but that would be the wrong play. You don’t think the oddsmakers don’t know what McDavid’s value is and how his absence will drive one-sided action to the Rags? Please. Not only do they know that, they are begging for that onesided action. The Rangers may win again tonight, but all the value here lies with the Oilers. Even without #97.
Edmonton +120 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.40)