Oilers vs. Canucks Game 1 odds, preview, prediction for Wed. 5/8

Here’s everything you need to know about the Oilers vs. Canucks odds for Game 1 on Wednesday, May 8 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.NHL betting: Oilers vs. Canucks Game 1 odds, preview, prediction for Wed. 5/8

A Canadian second-round playoff matchup always stirs up emotions, and the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks will square off in what is expected to be a heated series.

The Oilers handily defeated the Los Angeles Kings in the first round in five games. Vancouver, on the other hand, dealt with some adversity to start as it lost both of its goaltenders to injury. Needless to say, the Canucks still came out on top against the Predators 4-2.

There may not be a storied rivalry between these two teams, but we all know how ravenous Canadian hockey fans can be. I expect this series to be a slobberknocker, so let’s take a dive into where the value lies in my Oilers vs. Canucks Game 1 Prediction and NHL Betting Preview.

Oilers vs. Canucks Odds

Wednesday, May 8, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN

Oilers Odds -134
Canucks Odds +112
Over / Under 6.5
+102 / -124

Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Edmonton Oilers

What more needs to be said about the Oilers?

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have combined for 22 points in five playoff games. To top it off, defenseman Evan Bouchard posted nine points, and Zach Hyman continued his goal-scoring rampage with seven markers. This team continues to astonish, seemingly poised to finally make a run at the Stanley Cup.

Edmonton’s 5-on-5 play was among the best all postseason, ranking second in Expected Goals with a 59.01 xGF% and third defensively with a 2.52 xGA/60.

Special teams is the backbone of this team, and whenever given the opportunity, the Oilers will pounce. They have the best power play by scoring 45% of the time and have a 100% success rate on the penalty kill.

Stuart Skinner has been somewhat of a firecracker this season. You can count on him certain days, and on others he posts clunkers. So far in five starts against Los Angeles, he’s done most of what’s asked of him, with a .910 SV% and 0.2 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx). I like Skinner’s game, but he’s extremely volatile and sometimes has to get bailed out by the high-octane offense in front of him.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks are humming as Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller are leading the way. Boeser leads the team this postseason in goals with four, with Miller dishing out assists left and right. Additionally, captain Quinn Hughes also has five points in six games, and he’s provided a stabilizing presence on the blue line.

Conversely, Vancouver hasn’t gotten much out of superstar Elias Pettersson in the six games played. Pettersson also missed practice Tuesday due to an illness, so his status for tonight’s game is undetermined.

It’s interesting that Vancouver’s 5-on-5 offensive game struggled, playing to a 10th-best 47.34 xGF%. Defensively, the Canucks are seventh with a 2.75 xGA/60.

Throughout the season, they had a strong power play by scoring at a 22.6% clip, but that’s lacking in the postseason at just 15.4%. Luckily, the penalty kill has thrived by succeeding 91% of the time.

It felt like the sky was falling in Vancouver when both Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith fell to injuries. However, Arturs Silovs, the former sixth-round pick in 2019 has become its saving grace. Silovs stunned the hockey world by playing to a .938 SV% and 2.8 GSAx in three starts – which also included a series-clinching shutout.

Oilers vs. Canucks

Betting Pick & Prediction

FanDuel seems to think this game will be rather low scoring by listing Over 6.5 at +102. While that seems totally viable given that the Canucks averaged two goals in the first round, this is a whole new animal they’re facing.

In five games, Edmonton combined for 22 goals (just over four goals per game) and has a deadly foursome in McDavid, Draisaitl, Bouchard and Hyman.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if Skinner allows this series to get interesting. The Canucks are significantly more dynamic than the Kings were, and I expect Skinner to let up some easy goals.

At plus-money odds, I like Over 6.5 here.

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