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Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks Best Bets
Will the Oilers Grease the Ducks?
By Bob Duff
When it comes to glory, the Edmonton Oilers are just getting started. The Anaheim Ducks are nearing the end of their window of opportunity to win a Stanley Cup. Can the old hands hold off the new kids on the block? We break it down for your here, based on odds set by Bovada.lv:
You consider the Edmonton Oilers and you think first of all of Connor McDavid. No surprise there. He is, after all, the NHL scoring champion, the likely Hart Trophy winner and the NHL's most dynamic young superstar. But these Oilers are so much more than McDavid.
That was evident during Edmonton's first-round with over the San Jose Sharks. While the Sharks utilized shutdown defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun to limit McDavid to one even-strength point the entire series, it was the Oilers who were left standing at the end of the series.
The Oilers don't list a single player among the Stanley Cup's top 20 scorers and yet they are still playing. While McDavid led them with four points, eight other players collected at least two points and 14 players in total got on the board at least once. The Oilers got two game winners from Zack Kassian and one each from David Deharnais and rookie Anton Slepyshev.
The difference in experience between these two teams is vast. The Ducks have won 18 playoff games in the past three springs. The Oilers are in the playoffs for the first time since the spring of 2006. One of Anaheim's old hands, captain Ryan Getzlaf, delivered a dominating performance in the Ducks' sweep of Calgary, and was one of three Anaheim players to collect five points in the series. Getzlaf has a way of imposing his will on a series and who will Edmonton utilize in order to put a governor on that development?
McDavid can expect to fed a steady diet of Ducks center Ryan Kesler, a defensive dynamo who knows how to get under an opponent's skin in a playoff series. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle is old school and loves to play the matchup game, so expect him to look to get Kesler out against McDavid even when the Ducks are in Edmonton and without benefit of the last change.
Both teams are remarkably similar in every manner and this looks to be a set that could go the distance.
Setting the bar at five, based on the talent on both sides of the ice, you might lean toward the over, but don't go there.
Edmonton jumped from 70 to 103 points based on a commitment to playing the game effectively without the puck. Both the Oilers (42) and Ducks (36) went under plenty of times this season.
Play: The under
Once Leon Draisaitl got going, he lifted the Oilers up with him. Dropped from McDavid's unit to the third line, Draisaitl didn't pick up a point until Game 5 of the series but had a goal and two assists in the final two games as Edmonton took out the Sharks in six. BetOnline has set Draisaitl's series total at 5.5 points. Take the over at -105.
Getzlaf was spectacular against Calgary and when he's going, he's a force to be reckoned with. His series total is etablished at 5.5. Since 2008, he's garnered at least five points in 11 of 12 playoff series. Play the over on Getzlaf at -135.
Pick: The Oilers in seven games
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