by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
Having the best player in the NHL on your team should make you a playoff contender every season. While the Edmonton Oilers made it to the postseason in Connor McDavid’s first full year, they have missed out each of the past two and hope to return this season despite a low OVER/UNDER point total of 85.5 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Oilers totaled only 79 points last year to finish seventh out of eight teams in the Pacific Division. They fired head coach Todd McLellan early in the season and replaced him with Ken Hitchcock, who had come out of retirement and then was later dismissed as well. Next up is former Arizona Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett, who enjoyed some success there earlier this decade with goaltender Mike Smith, who the Oilers signed as a free agent this summer.
The combination of Tippett and Smith could pay off if the latter can just stay healthy, something he was unable to do last year in Calgary and at the end of his time in Arizona. Tippett led the Coyotes to the Pacific title in 2011-12 and knows the division very well even though they missed the playoffs the last five seasons he was there.
Scoring should not be an issue for Edmonton with McDavid and Leon Draisaitl back to anchor the team’s offense. They were the highest-scoring duo in the league with 221 combined points, as Draisaitl had a breakout year with 105 on a career-high 50 goals and 55 assists.
Meanwhile, McDavid reached the century mark for the third season in a row with a career-high 116 points on 41 goals and 75 assists. Draisaitl will likely find it difficult to repeat his numbers from last year, but the Oilers should also be more balanced offensively with the addition of veteran winger James Neal from the Flames.
Edmonton definitely has the potential to get back to the postseason as long as the team can surpass its point total of 85.5 on the NHL betting lines. With McDavid entering the prime of his career and a new coach arriving who can give him a new perspective, that seems like a good bet.