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Photo Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

An Oilers vs Blackhawks Betting Preview

As hockey returns, so too does the opportunity to put some money on NHL games! How do the Oilers stack up against the Blackhawks? What do the sportsbooks say about this series? What are some different bets you can place on games? I’m going to go through all of that in this article.

If you’re new to the world of sports betting, I went through some of the common questions that new bettors have at the bottom of this article!

For odds, I looked at three different websites for odds. I used Bodog, Coolbet, and Bet365.

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OILERS vs HAWKS SERIES ODDS

As you would expect, the Oilers are favourites to win their series against the Blackhawks. The best odds out of the three sites come from Coolbet and Bodog, who have the Oilers at -160 favourites while the Hawks are around +135 to win the series.

If you want to bet on the Oilers to win this series, you won’t get great odds on picking them to win straight up, but there is one interesting bet I’m looking at. 

Both Coolbet and Bodog have a ‘series spread’ which lets you bet on the Oilers to win the series by more than 1.5 games. Essentially, you’re betting on the Oilers to win the series in either three or four games. Coolbet has that at +145 while Bodog has them at +125.

If you’re looking to make a buck off the Oilers winning this series, that may be the way to go. One other piece of advice, with Corey Crawford still not at Blackhawks training camp, if you want to bet on the Oilers, you should do so sooner rather than later. If it is announced that Crawford won’t play for the Hawks, the odds will drastically change and you won’t make nearly as much money betting on the Oilers.

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Most books are also offering an over/under on how many games the series will go. If you think this will be a sweep, ‘under 3.5 games’ is paying out anywhere from +250 to +270. If you think it will go five games, you can take ‘over 4.5 games’ which is paying out between +150 to +160.

During the regular season, the Hawks won two of the three meetings but each one of the games were decided by two goals or less. These two teams played each other very tight this season so over 4.5 games is probably more likely than under 3.5 games.

Bodog does have odds up on the series going exactly four games and that is paying out +140.

Outside of betting on the series, you can also bet on single games.

GAME BY GAME BETTING

Mar 5, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) scores against Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) during the second period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, you can just bet on the Oilers to win outright every single night. Right now, only Bodog has odds up for the first game of the series and they have the Oilers as +145 favourites. They also have the over/under set at 6.0, which is something I expect to see across most sportsbooks.

In their three meetings this season, these two teams averaged just over six goals per game. So an over/under of 6.0 is interesting. We really don’t know what to expect from these games considering all the teams are coming off long layoffs. Personally, I think these games could be really high scoring but honestly, over/under bets in hockey are generally a crapshoot.

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With all games being neutral site, I wonder how the sportsbooks will handle “home-ice advantage”. While there will be no crowds and no travel, the home team will still get last change and for the Oilers, they’ll be allowed to use their home dressing room as well. While the dressing room might not be a huge advantage, the last change could help them get Connor McDavid on the ice even more against weaker competition. If the sportsbooks ignore that aspect of things, that could give Oiler’s bettors a slight advantage.

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The one bet I do tend to like, and I believe it is only available on Coolbet, is over/under shots on goal. Usually, the combined total is around 61.5. During their three games against each other this season, they averaged a combined 63.3 shots on goal. 

While the Oilers ranked in the bottom third of the league in shots for/game, the Blackhawks allowed the most shots against/game. I could see these games being very high-event and that could lead to the shot total going over. The other prop bet I’ll be looking at is the Leon Draisaitl shot prop. Anyone who listened to my Pre Game Podcast this year knows how much I love that bet.

As an avid sports bettor, I’m just excited to put some money down on Oilers games again. I should add in the reminder that you should never bet more than you can afford. My advice is to treat it like a hobby or a way to stay entertained, not as a way to make money.

FOR THE BEGINNERS

Oct 14, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing James Neal (18) looks to pass the puck against Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period at United Center.

So, you’ve never placed a bet before but you want to get into it with the return of hockey but you’re a little confused by the terminology and where to go. That’s totally fine. The numbers can be confusing. But here are some basic things to know.

What do numbers like -105 or +120 mean? Those are the ‘odds’ attached to a team or an event. If a team/event has “-” odds, that means they’re the favourites. If they have a “+” in front of them, that means they’re the underdogs.

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For example, if you put $100 on a bet with odds of -105, you would win $195 (think of it like you get your $100 back and profit $95). If you put $100 on a bet with odds of +120, you would win $220 (you get your $100 back and profit $120). 

Where do I bet? There are plenty of sites like Bodog, Bet 365, and Coolbet that offer good sign up bonuses and different ways to deposit money. 

What is a parlay? By combining multiple bets, you increase your odds. For example, if you take two bets that are both paying out -105 and parlay them, you would win $280 on a $100 bet. It’s tempting to try and get a greater payout but you need both bets to hit or else you don’t win anything.

If you have any questions about how or where to bet, feel free to send me a DM on Twitter (@tyleryaremchuk)!