The odds favour the Oilers in their round 2 matchup with the Canucks

As the Oilers and Canucks prepare to clash in game one on Tuesday night, Edmonton fans will be happy to know the oddsmakers favour their team to advance.
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages

The Edmonton Oilers were pushed around by the Vancouver Canucks during the 2023-24 regular season, being swept 4-0-0. The four losses included embarrassing one-sided scorelines of 8-1 on opening night and 6-2, as well as losing closer games of 4-3 and 3-1.

Despite this disparity, there were still plenty of Oilers fans wanting their team to face the Canucks in round two. Among the reasons were Thatcher Demko's injury, three of the four losses coming early on in the campaign when the Oilers were struggling, and just a good old fashioned chance at revenge.

We did recently warn the Oilers fan base that they should be careful what they wish for, but here we are. And in fairness, there are plenty of people within the media who firmly believe they are the better team and will find a way to advance to the Western Conference Final, despite the Canucks having home-ice advantage.

This belief in the Oilers extends to the betting market, with plenty of oddsmakers picking them as favourites to beat the Canucks. This includes FanDuel and DraftKings.

Beginning with FanDuel, at the time of writing they have the Oilers as -1.5 and -124 against the spread, to win the series. Meanwhile, the Canucks are +1.5 and +102.

In respect of the leading goalscorer in the series, Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman are tied as favourites at +340, while teammate Leon Draisaitl is next at +400. The Canucks' likeliest options are Brock Boeser at +800, J.T. Miller at +1000 and Elias Pettersson at +1400.

Turning to DraftKings, they also have the Oilers as favourites to advance as the series winner, at -260. Meanwhile, the Canucks have odds of +220.

In respect of most goals in the series, DraftKings have Draisaitl as favourite at +340, with McDavid and Hyman just behind him, both at +350. Similarly they have a different order for the Canucks, with Miller at +950, while Boeser and Pettersson are both +1100.

During the regular season, the Oilers were ranked fourth in the NHL in goals scored, although the Canucks weren't far behind at sixth. Meanwhile, Vancouver ranked tied-fifth in goals allowed, while Edmonton was 10th.

Turning to the special teams, the Oilers were fourth in power play efficiency, compared to 11th by the Canucks. Edmonton was also slightly better compared to Vancouver on the penalty kill, ranking 15th versus 17th.

Sticking with the special teams, this is where the Oilers have really excelled thus far during the playoffs, ranking first in both the power play and penalty kill. (The are actually 100 percent on the penalty kill at the time of posting.) Meanwhile, the Canucks rank fifth-worst among the 16 playoff teams on the power play, but have been excellent in ranking third-best on the penalty kill.

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Overall, while appreciating the Oilers' position as favourites, it still feels like people are continuing to underestimate the Canucks, such has been the case (narrative) all season. Yes the Oilers are the more talented and complete roster, but you have to wonder if there is a certain element of team of destiny at play here, given how well the Canucks have continued to perform without Vezina Trophy nominee Demko between the pipes.

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