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The Nashville Predators will pay a visit to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Jason Yamaguchi details why you should fade the home team here.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Nashville Predators Prediction: Back the Road Dogs

The Edmonton Oilers (20-16-2) have had quite the tumultuous season. After a red-hot start that saw the Oilers sitting squarely in the Pacific Division's top spot, they've slid out of the playoffs altogether. Their worst stretch of games was a period between late December and early January where they went 2-11-2, which explains why they're currently sitting four points behind the Flames for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference. That being said, Edmonton has won two in a row, and they'll look to extend that streak against Nashville.

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Edmonton Oilers vs. Nashville Predators Prediction

The Predators (27-14-3) have been one of the pleasant surprises of the season. Few projected them to be a playoff team, but Nashville is in second place in the Central Division. After losing four straight in mid-January, they've responded nicely by winning their last three. In those three games, they outscored their opponents by a combined score of 13-5. I see them carrying that momentum into this matchup against an exceedingly volatile Oilers squad.

Nashville has been the better team at even strength this season. They rank 11th in terms of expected goals share (52.21%), while Edmonton ranks 15th with a share of 50.14%. Additionally, the Predators' expected goals performances have been trending up recently—they've logged a few superb games over the last couple of weeks that have raised their mark. The same cannot be said of the Oilers.

The Predators will also hold a massive edge in goal. They will almost certainly turn to Juuse Saros, whose tally of 16.4 goals saved above expected ranks fourth among all NHL goaltenders. The man in net for the Oilers will likely be Mikko Koskinen, who has allowed 8.5 more goals than expected.

This Oilers team has proven that they have high upside. They boast two of the league's best players in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and they're difficult to stop when they're clicking. However, their scoring depth has proven insufficient, their defense is spotty, and their goaltending is simply bad; they are not a team that anyone can trust. It won't help that they could be missing both Zach Hyman and Tyson Barrie for this contest. Overall, the Predators are the more consistent team, and I think there's value taking them as slight underdogs in this spot.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Nashville Predators Line Movement

Edmonton Oilers vs. Nashville Predators Pick

Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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