For Edmonton Oilers fans for the past… oh, almost decade and a half, has not been a luxury many fans think that they could’ve indulged in. There is still some debate as to whether this year will be more of the same that the last few seasons (save for the anomalous playoff run in 2017… remember that?), but after a glorious opening night win, this time of year is full of hope, and all of us in the Nation know that hope will never die.
Odds to win the NHL Pacific Division (Bovada):
Golden Knights -105
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) October 2, 2019
So, with GM Holland overseeing the present and future of the franchise, and coach Tippett behind the bench instilling new systems and renewed belief– and with the help of our very good friends over at Odds Shark— allow us to gingerly lean into our degenerative habits and indulge with some light, harmless sports betting.
These are your best bets gambling on the Oilers this season.
(lines subject to change)
OVER/UNDER POINTS TOTALS
Okay, fun little one to get started. If we believe the Oilers are making the playoffs (and we do of course, right??) then we have to believe the team hits way over 85 points (last year it took nearly 100 just to win a wild card spot). So then we’re staking a little more to get the same return should they fall short. We have to stake $120 to win back a full unit ($100) for a nice little return of $220. On the flip side, it only takes a slightly lower stake of $110 to earn a return of $210. Honestly, for a team that has been viewed by hockey media as mostly falling short of the playoffs again, these odds sort of put the Oilers right in the mid-90 point area; falling short of the playoffs but hitting their over.
These aren’t juicy returns, but we’re believers here so let’s bet that over and rake in that $100 along with our next bet.
TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS
To make the playoffs +155
To miss the playoffs -190
Okay, here we go! These are some nice numbers. So we’re confident that the Oilers are making the playoffs in April, so we’re staking a full unit ($100) for a $255 return (you’re getting your stake back with the additional $155). If, for whatever reason, you think the Oilers will miss the playoffs (how DARE you!), then you’re staking a whopping $190 for a $290 return (your initial $190 stake plus the full unit you get from the good bet). So the full return is better should the Oilers miss the playoffs, but the initial investment is higher (welcome to sports gambling).
We’re taking that playoff bet, along with the points over, and sitting pretty at $475.
TO WIN THE ART ROSS TROPHY
Connor McDavid +275
Connor shares the same odds with last season’s winner of this award, Nikita Kucherov. Nobody else is really in this conversation at all, as the next closest bets are a distant +1100, that being Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby, and Patrick Kane coming in at +1800. There’s no doubt that Connor has an incredible chance to win the back the scoring title, and as I have written before, not a tonne of his scoring actually comes on the powerplay (28.4%) while Kucherov’s seemingly relies on it to a larger extent (37.5%). And yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning boast a wealth of depth and talent, and finished the 2018-19 campaign with the best unit. That being said, recent history shows that special teams are fickle, and teams rarely have a powerplay that remains in the top three for three consecutive seasons; the Lightning finished with the third best powerplay in 2017-18, so should that drop then so too should Kucherov’s output.
We’re earning over 2.5x our money by placing a bet on the best player in the world to win the scoring title. Put a full unit on Connor and bask in your $375 return and $850 total return.
TO WIN THE “ROCKET” RICHARD TROPHY
Leon Draisaitl +750
This one’s a little trickier. There’s one player ahead of Leon with better odds sitting at +550 and I’ll give you exactly to the end of this sentence to guess who that is. Yup, the greatest goal-scorer in the history of the NHL sits at the top of this list. John Tavares shares +750 with Draisaitl, and Auston Matthews is slightly behind at +800, with Connor rounding out the top five at +1000. I think Draisaitl is going to have another great season, and scoring 50 goals isn’t something that’s easily done anymore, and he is younger that Ovechkin by nearly a decade and is really entering his prime.
But, it’s hard for me encourage someone to bet their hard-earned money against a player who has won the goal-scoring title eight times in his career, and six times in the past seven seasons. This one’s close, but there’s a chance that if Tippett keeps Leon and Connor on separate lines for an extended period to start the season, he will still have an impressive offensive output, though it might be in more of a player-making role and might cut into Draisaitl’s goal-scoring output. I hate to say it, but this is a stay-away.
Like I said before, it’s hard to encourage anyone to part with their hard-earned money by gambling it on long-shot sports bets. The Oilers are coming off of some pretty lean years in terms of team success, so just getting to the playoffs and earning those returns are a good victory for the 2019-20 season. Personally, I’m cashing out my $850 return with the points over, playoff berth, and Connor scoring title, taking that $530 and keeping a few dollars for some delicious beverages and putting a few more aside for a little nest egg.
The following bets are for those braver than I.
TO WIN THE PACIFIC DIVISION
TO WIN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE
TO MAKE WIN THE STANLEY CUP
Enjoy the start of the season, Nation!