NHL Betting Preview: Canucks vs. Oilers Series Prediction

NorthStar Bets lists the Oilers as a -265 series favourite heading into Game 1 versus Vancouver (+215). The Oilers are currently listed as a co-favourite to win the Stanley Cup at +350, along with the New York Rangers, who are already up 2-0 in their series. Meanwhile, the Canucks (+1600) have the worst Stanley Cup odds. That means Edmonton is Canada’s best hope, but the Canucks did defeat the Oilers in all four regular season games this year. This is the first time the Canucks and Oilers will meet in the NHL playoffs since 1992.

This is an image showing the probability of our series prediction for the second round matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.

Handicapping the Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton closed -158 and -114 in two road games versus Vancouver earlier this season, and the betting market seems to have settled between those two data points for the series opener. However, I’m going to argue that Edmonton should be a bigger favourite. The Oilers outperformed Vancouver in all facets of the game down the stretch, and unlike the Predators, Edmonton has more than one scoring line.

Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup Winner


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On paper, the Canucks are more talented than the Kings, but they performed very similarly to one another in the final three months of the regular season and this series could be a carbon copy of the first round. Vancouver was a top-10 team when it came to preventing shots against in the regular season, but so were the Kings, and look where it got them. The Canucks ranked 23rd in shots per 60 minutes and have only managed 20 shots (per 60) in the playoffs so far. Edmonton, on the other hand, generated 31 shots (per 60) against Los Angeles. Not to mention, Vancouver turned into an average offensive team as the season went on, while the Oilers have sustained their status as one of the most dangerous teams in the league.

The Oilers’ power play went 9-20 in the first round, with McDavid picking up a point on all nine goals. Edmonton was also perfect on the penalty kill. Vancouver might be able to slow down Edmonton’s attack to some degree, but it’s unlikely that the Canucks will be able to outscore them.

Handicapping the Vancouver Canucks

What worked for the Canucks in round one, isn’t going to work in round two. The Canucks did a good job defending against Nashville, allowing just 1.84 goals per 60 minutes during even-strength play. Backup goalie Artur Silovs performed well in round one, allowing only five goals in three starts with a .938 save percentage, however, the 23-year-old goaltender has only played 12 career NHL games and is now facing off against two of the most prolific playoff scorers of all time, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup Winner


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Vancouver held Nashville to just 53 shot attempts (per 60), but they had to sacrifice offence to do it. The Canucks scored just 1.63 goals per 60 minutes at even strength versus the Predators, and this isn’t a new problem. According to Evolving Hockey, Vancouver ranked sixth in goals against and 23rd in goals per 60 minutes between February 1st and the end of the regular season. Vancouver did finish as a top-five offensive team thanks to their strong start, but the Oilers scored more consistently.

The Canucks penalty kill was great in the first round, allowing just two powerplay goals on 22 opportunities, but their power play was dreadful. Vancouver scored on just two of its 13 power play opportunities in the series. Edmonton’s power play might not be as deadly as it was in round one against Los Angeles, but the Canucks’ penalty kill isn’t going to be nearly as successful.

In other words, it seems unlikely that Vancouver will be able to outscore the Oilers at even strength, let alone on special teams. Especially if Elias Pettersson remains invisible like he was in the opening round. Pettersson posted just three secondary assists in six games. Now, he did have success against the Oilers in the regular season, scoring a goal and six assists in four games, but he scored four goals and an assist in three games versus Nashville in the regular season and that didn’t translate to playoff success. J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes will likely have their hands full with Connor McDavid, so Pettersson’s play could make or break the series for Vancouver.

Canucks vs. Oilers Series Prediction

Edmonton Oilers Game 1 Winner


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By my estimation, Edmonton has a 73.5 percent chance of advancing to the next round, with the most likely scenario being that the Oilers win the series in six games. NorthStar Bets are offering a competitive -265 price on the Oilers, but that’s a steep price. There’s a lot more value in betting on Edmonton to win straight-up at the current odds of -129.

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Canucks vs. Oilers Series Probabilities

Learn how to predict the winner of a best-of-seven playoff series here.