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Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers prediction and pick for Monday. NHL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi provides his best bet for Monday's showdown between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames.
ANALYSIS

Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers Prediction: Expect a Strong Showing from the Flames

To start off the new week, we have five NHL games on Monday to consider. One of them is the third meeting between two of the fiercest rivals in professional sports—the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. One of the sides holds value—let's dive in.

The Calgary Flames (33-14-7) are the hottest team in the NHL (no pun intended). They are 13-1-1 in their last 15, a run that has put them squarely atop the Pacific division with room to spare. Their last victory was particularly impressive, a road win over the league-leading Avalanche. They'll look to build on that accomplishment by defeating their provincial foes on Monday night.

The Oilers (30-22-4) are in much poorer form. They've lost five of their last seven, including a disheartening 5-2 loss to the bottom-feeder Canadiens on Saturday. The loss dropped them out of a playoff spot altogether—Edmonton badly needs a win here.

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Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers Prediction

Calgary has been the NHL's most dominant team at even strength this season. Their 5v5 expected goals share of 56.57% is the best in the league, far better than Edmonton's share of 51.08% (14th). This means that the Flames tend to dominate their opponents by generating more quality offense than they concede. With the Oilers floundering in the expected goals department over their last few games, I expect the Flames to control the play at even strength.

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The strongest component of the Oilers' team is their power play. The unit ranks fourth in the NHL with a conversion rate of 25.6%, due in large part to the presence of two transcendent talents in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. However, the Flames have the fifth best penalty kill in the league, one that has successfully killed off 84.4% of their team's penalties. Calgary also has a solid power play, one that ranks 10th with a conversion rate of 23.1%. It will be facing Edmonton's woeful, 26th-ranked penalty kill. So, the Flames have an edge on special teams as well as at even strength. Calgary also has the much better goaltender. Given that backup Dan Vladar started their last game, I expect the Flames to roll with Jacob Markstrom against the Oilers. Markstrom has saved 10.6 goals above expected this season, which ranks 12th amongst all NHL goaltenders. On the other side, Mikko Koskinen, who has allowed 5.4 more goals than expected, will likely start. Goaltending has been a major issue for the Oilers this season, and there's no reason to assume that it won't continue to cause problems.

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Tyson Barrie, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jesse Puljujarvi will all sit due to various injuries. Meanwhile, the Flames have their entire starting lineup ready to go. That, combined with all the other factors leaning Calgary's way, is what leads me to believe that there's value on their side. Laying juice in the range of -180 isn't my preference, so let's roll with the puck line instead. I'm confident that the Flames can cover—they've done so in three of their last four wins.

Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers Line Movement

Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers Pick

Article Author

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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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