There’s an exciting Pacific Division tilt in store on Saturday evening with the third-place Edmonton Oilers hosting the first-place Vegas Golden Knights.
Typically dominating this matchup, Edmonton has won five of the last six meetings between these two clubs.
Will the Oilers take care of business once again, or can the Golden Knights pull off the road upset? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Golden Knights vs Oilers on Saturday, March 25.
Golden Knights vs Oilers best odds
Golden Knights vs Oilers picks and predictions
Both of these clubs enter this contest in tremendous form, with each team winning seven of its last eight games. However, the biggest concern currently with the Vegas Golden Knights is in net, which is extremely problematic against the high-powered Edmonton Oilers offense.
Slated to start between the pipes for Vegas on Saturday evening is goaltender Jonathan Quick, who has had a forgettable campaign, to say the least. Through 38 appearances in the crease this season, Quick is 16-14-2 with a .882 save percentage (SV%) and 3.08 goals against average (GAA).
His underlying metrics are just as concerning, ranking third-to-last among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5. Across the ice, goaltender Stuart Skinner is projected to start between the pipes for Edmonton.
Putting together a spectacular, and frankly underrated, rookie season, Skinner is 23-14-4 with a .910 SV% and 2.90 GAA. His underlying metrics are even better, ranking eighth among starting goaltenders in GSAx/60 at 5-on-5.
In front of Skinner is a defense that is far improved from previous years, which is also a product of the forward group working harder on the backcheck. At 5-on-5, the Oilers rank 13th in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).
Meanwhile, Edmonton boasts an offense that certainly needs no introduction. This season, at 5-on-5, the Oilers rank third in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60), which is not surprising given that they have two of the Top-5 players in the world and perhaps the most talented skater in the history of the sport.
Before some of our older readers get mad at me for that previous statement, Gretzky himself has gone on record also saying as such. With the superior offense, goaltender, and an equally good defense, back the Oilers to grab a big two points on home ice against their division foes.
My best bet: Oilers –1.5 (+138)
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Golden Knights vs Oilers moneyline analysis
Skinner’s strong play in net is likely to continue against Vegas, a team he fared extremely well against earlier this season. In his lone career start against the Knights, Skinner stopped 31 of 34 shots for a .912 SV% en route to an Oilers victory.
On the flip side, Quick is just 2-4 with a .899 SV% and 3.51 GAA over his last six starts against Edmonton. All four of those losses came by at least a two-goal margin.
Quick’s shaky play this season is going to face a huge test against the mighty Oilers, spearheaded by the point-hunting Connor McDavid. Another concern with Vegas in this contest is its penalty kill, which ranks in the bottom half of the league.
That‘s especially troubling given that Edmonton yet again boasts the most lethal power play unit in the league, which is predictable when you pair McDavid and Leon Draisaitl together.
Golden Knights vs Oilers Over/Under analysis
I would lean towards the Over in this contest, but do not feel as confident in it as I do in backing Edmonton. Quick is fade-worthy and the Vegas penalty kill has question marks, which means that it’s not out of the question that the Oilers score five goals themselves.
However, there should be confidence in Edmonton’s underrated two-way play this season and goaltender Stuart Skinner. His underlying metrics continue to confirm the eye test with Skinner, who, with a few more years of development, could put together something special.
Meanwhile, the Oilers rank 13th in the league in xGA/60 at 5-on-5, an improvement to an issue that has usually plagued them over the past couple of seasons. The Over is a good play, and seven goals should be attainable, but I would rather just back Edmonton.
Golden Knights vs Oilers betting trend to know
The Oilers have won five straight games, with three of those five wins coming by at least a two-goal margin. Find more NHL betting trends for Golden Knights vs Oilers.
Golden Knights vs Oilers game info
|Location:||Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB|
|Date:||Saturday, March 25, 2023|
|Puck drop:||10:00 p.m. ET|