Winnipeg played exceptional defense and stormed the rush of McDavid and Draisaitl. Their prize is a berth into the second round of the NHL Playoffs.
Free Picks: Oilers vs. Jets, 2021 Stanley Cup Round 1
Series Results: Jets wins series, 4-0
The Edmonton Oilers were dummied by the Winnipeg Jets in a 4-game sweep.
Winnipeg set the tone for the series after quieting McDavid in game 1 and never looked back. The Jets would take 2 from Edmonton (on their home turf) and would return home with a chance to sweep.
After a monumental collapse in the third period, Edmonton went from being down 2-1 in the series to being one loss away from elimination in game 3.
From there, it took an overtime effort but Kyle Connor buried in the 3rd OT to send Edmonton packing and complete the 4-game sweep.
May 19, 09:00 p.m., Rogers Place
Can Winnipeg outmatch Connor McDavid?
While the Edmonton Oilers have a number of talented players on their roster, there is no one in this league as talented as Connor McDavid. To some, that may be arguable, but this season, McDavid has torn up the North Division.
Head-to-head, the Jets were 2-7 against Edmonton in the regular season. Tallying only 4 points, that was the lowest point total of any opponent for the Jets.
With that being said, I don’t think this NHL playoffs prediction necessarily favors the Oilers. While Edmonton dominated the Jets in the regular season, the Jets were hurt.
One of the biggest factors in this series will be the performance of Nikolaj Ehlers. He is back and ready to roll, while the Jets have also seen great play from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Paul Stastny. Edmonton may have the larger star, but the Jets have the better depth on offense.
I am not a huge fan of Winnipeg on defense, which is why I think Edmonton can take this opening game. However, on the backend, I really like Connor Hellebuyck. If he can steal a game or two from the Oilers, this could easily change the series in favor of Winnipeg.
He won 23 of 44 games and had a .915 save percentage and 2.60 GAA. Hellebuyck’s performance in the blue paint could be the reason Winnipeg moves onto the second round.
The Jets hit a rough patch late in the season but enter the playoffs having won 3 of their last 5 games, which includes a huge win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Still, Edmonton ranks better than Winnipeg in both goal-scoring and goals against. Even if it is a slight advantage, it’s enough to open this series with a win. For betting purposes, I like the Oilers to win game 1 straight up –160 (10Bet).
Game 1 needs to be analyzed. This series could dramatically impact NHL Stanley Cup odds for not only the North Division but the entire NHL.
Game 2 (Jets leads 1-0)
May 21, 09:00 p.m., Rogers Place
Did Winnipeg prove something in game 1?
Entering this series, everyone spoke about Connor McDavid. Rightfully so, may I add. But the Jets proved in game 1 that the other team may have the best player in the league, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will walk away victorious.
Winnipeg took game 1 from Edmonton without Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolaj Ehlers. If those two are inserted back into the lineup, the Oilers will be in big trouble. Both Dubois and Ehlers have not been given the go-ahead by Paul Maurice, so that will be an interesting storyline to follow entering game 2. If both players suit up, expect to see a shift in NHL game odds.
From a betting perspective, I think taking the Oilers to score first in the 1st period makes the most sense. The Oilers will be flying and I love the odds. The Oilers to score first in the 1st period is +105 (10Bet). After barely hitting the scoreboard in game 1, I expect the Oilers to dig deep to get an early lead. This will be one of your best NHL bets for this game because the Oilers desperately need to score first.
Even though the Oilers lost game 1, there was something to take away. Firstly, the Oilers generated numerous scoring chances. I said before that Connor Hellebuyck could steal games for the Jets and that happened on night one. The Jets’ netminder turned away 32 of 33 shots en route to a win. I just wasn’t prepared to see Hellebuyck stand on his head to open the series.
Edmonton will need to see McDavid shoot more if they want to be successful. He picked up just 2 shots in the loss. McDavid is seen as more of a playmaker but also has a lethal shot. It’s easier to make saves if you know the pass is coming. If McDavid holds and has Hellebucyk second-guessing, the Oilers will benefit greatly.
I think the Oilers bounce back and take game 2. While they were dominated on the scoreboard, Edmonton stood tall for the most part. This is going to be a long series that gets evened up on Thursday.
Game 3 (Jets leads 2-0)
May 23, 07:30 p.m., Bell MTS Place
It’s time to hit the panic button in Edmonton.
Winnipeg walked into Edmonton and dropped the Oilers on home ice. Not necessarily an upset, but the Oilers were favorites to win that game and the series. Game 2 was a defensive battle and it took one flick of the wrist for the Jets to not only take game 2 but head back home with a chance to sweep the Oilers.
Although he has not performed in the playoffs so far, there is one reason I believe the Oilers will not be swept: Connor McDavid. Plain and simple, he is just too good. It’s stunning that he has not recorded a point this series as the Jets have smothered him.
This leads me to my Stanley Cup prediction for this game. I think it’s time we see Edmonton explode on offense against the Jets. Edmonton might not dominate Stanley Cup odds, but it’s hard to deny the offensive talent on the ice. While winning the series might be hard to accomplish down 2-0 already, I believe they won’t be swept.
Edmonton has peppered Connor Hellebuyck with shots and even the best goaltenders break once in a while. If the Oilers continue to tally 30+ shots per game, they are bound to find a couple of bounces.
As for the game straight up, Edmonton is due. Like I said, their offense is good enough to steal a victory. They are listed as the favorites (-130) and they need to prove it on Sunday.
Game 4 (Jets leads 3-0)
May 24, 09:45 p.m., Bell MTS Place
Can the unthinkable happen?
After blowing a 4-1 lead, the Edmonton Oilers are now on the brink of elimination as the Jets took game 3 in overtime. As for the Oilers, it’s shocking to see their fall from one of the top teams in the North to potentially being knocked out in the minimum number of games.
Looking at this Stanley Cup playoffs game, I hit the nail on the head with the Oilers scoring over 3.5 goals. However, I couldn’t predict such a monumental comeback.
For this BetPicks Prediction, I think I am going to look at a riskier bet and then a safer bet. One wager that has great value is the winning margin. The last two games between Edmonton and Winnipeg have been decided by one goal, so it makes sense that taking the Jets’ winning margin of exactly 1 goal (+230, 10Bet) would be a serviceable bet.
However, I don’t think this game goes to overtime or is decided by a single goal. The Oilers are defeated mentally and I think their season will come to an end on Monday. This is why I think taking the Jets’ winning margin of exactly 2 goals (+550, 10Bet) will be your best NHL bets for this game. I am banking on the Jets leading late in the game as well as them potting an empty-net goal to seal the deal.
If you don’t feel like being risky, I think the Jets’ Moneyline also makes sense. As mentioned, the Oilers are defeated mentally and look primed for the golf course. Winnipeg is listed at –105 on the Moneyline entering game 4.
Edmonton’s defense has been lacking this series. They finally saw the offensive surge that kept them alive during the regular season but couldn’t hold it down defensively. The Jets are at home and own all the momentum. Without a rest day in between, Sunday’s loss will be fresh in the minds of the Oilers as well.
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have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter (@Patrick_Trudeau) so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.