Flames vs. Oilers Pick
Oddsmakers at sports book Bovada.lv have listed the Oilers as a -165 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Flame are a +145 underdog and the over-under is set at 5.5.
Calgary finished last season 45-33-4 and clinched a playoff berth, but were swept in four games by the Anaheim Ducks. Edmonton went 47-26-9 in 2016-17 and won its first round playoff series in six games over San Jose before losing in seven games to Anaheim in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Oilers swept last year's season series in four games by scores of 7-4, 5-3, 2-1 (SO) and 7-3. The total went over three times.
Superstar Connor McDavid leads Edmonton as he accounted for 30 goals and 70 assists for an even 100 points in 82 games. Leon Draisaitl added 29 goals and 48 assists. Cam Talbot went 42-22-8 in goal with a 2.39 GAA and a .919 save percentage. He'll be in goal tonight. Johnny Gaudreau paced the Flames last year with 18 goals and 43 assists in 72 games. Sean Monahan tallied 27 goals and 31 assists. Calgary traded for goaltender Mike Smith in the offseason after he went 19-26-9 with a 2.92 GAA and a .914 save percentage for the Coyotes last year. Smith is expected to be in goal in the opener.
Edmonton should have a strong season, but Calgary is no slouch either and should be improved after plucking Smith out of a bad situation in Phoenix. The Oilers might press a little hard trying to get a victory in front of their fans in the opener, leaving them vulnerable to turnovers, penalties and counter rushes by the Flames. Plus there is a revenge narrative after Edmonton swept Calgary last year. We like the Flames in an upset.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: CALGARY FLAMES +145