Free Picks: Edmonton Oilers vs. Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens vs Oilers NHL week 18
Edmonton Oilers vs. Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Bell Centre

Both the Oilers and Canadiens have survived the regular season and have booked their ticket to the NHL playoffs. With one more game left, both the Habs and Oilers don’t have much to play for prior to the playoffs. This has me thinking goal scoring will be low as both teams play cautiously Wednesday night.

Are the Canadiens really on Edmonton's level?

As both the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens prepare for the NHL playoffs, the Oilers are looking to fight their inner demons against the Habs. 

This season, the Oilers are 3-4-1 against Montreal, mustering up 18 goals while allowing 23 head-to-head. 

Since this is the last regular-season game for both teams, expect top players to sit. McDavid and Draisaitl should enjoy the night off, while Tyler Toffoli and Nick Suzuki should be watching from the press box. 

For this NHL prediction, I want to stay away from traditional bets like the Moneyline or Puck Line. With all these starters expected to miss ice time Wednesday night, I am not confident in any of those bets.  

With that being said, there is one bet that I am confident in: 1st Period Total Goals. 

Starting with Montreal, the first period is their worst offensive period in regulation. Of their 152 goals scored in regulation, only 28% of goals have come in the opening period. On top of that, the first period is Montreal’s best period in terms of goals allowed.  

The Habs have allowed 154 goals in regulation, while only 44 of them have been in the first period. Montreal starts the game off-strong which has me believing this will be your best NHL bet for this game. 

Switching over to Edmonton, the first period is also the Oilers’ lowest-scoring period in regulation. Defensively, they have allowed 2 more goals in the first period compared to the third, so it isn’t that big of a difference.  

Edmonton has allowed only 531 shots in the first period, which is their lowest of any period (in regulation). 

Add in that high-scoring players are expected to be healthy scratched and I think scoring won’t be as big of a factor, especially in the first 20 minutes. Right now, the focus for Montreal and Edmonton is to make it out of this game fully prepared for the playoffs, so don’t expect anything crazy to happen Wednesday night. 

Under normal circumstances, I think this wager could be different. But for this NHL free pick, I am smashing the under.

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FREE PICK: 1st Period Goals UNDER 1.5


  • The total has gone under in 4 of Edmonton’s last 5 games in Montreal. 
  • 6 of Montreal’s last 8 games at home has seen the under cash.

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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 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.