Stephen Nover’s NHL Series Play

On April 10, 2017, in Free Picks, NHL, by Stephen

Oilers minus $1.40 over Sharks (series price)

The Stanley Cup playoffs get under way Wednesday. My strongest series price play is on the Edmonton Oilers laying $1.40 against the San Jose Sharks.

I understand this is quite a turnaround laying this price fading the Sharks, who made the Stanley Cup finals last year, against a team that finished 29th overall last season.

I fully realize, too, the Sharks are a far more experienced playoff team. The Oilers hadn’t made the Stanley Cup during the previous 10 seasons while San Jose has played 124 Stanley Cup games during this span.

But I’m convinced the Oilers are for real and the Sharks are dead in the water given how banged-up they are.

Edmonton is surging winning 12 of its last 14 games. No team had a better record against Pacific Division foes (20-6-3) and Western Conference opponents (33-11-6) than the Oilers. This includes a 3-1-1 mark versus San Jose.

I’m proud to say I took Connor McDavid with my first pick – the seventh overall choice – in my Rotisserie hockey draft. McDavid led the league in points. He could be the best player in the NHL. McDavid finished the regular season producing 25 points during the last 14 games.

It’s not just the remarkable McDavid, though, why the Oilers experienced such a big turnaround in recording their first 100-point season in 30 years. The Oilers had five 20-goal scorers, an improved defense and tremendous goaltending from Cam Talbot, who tied for the league-lead with 42 winning games.

The Oilers open the playoffs with tremendous confidence. Their fans are jacked up as this is Edmonton’s first time since 1990 opening the Stanley Cup playoffs at home.

Let’s contrast the youthful, up-and-coming Oilers against the veteran-laden Sharks, who are full of key injuries. Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Thomas Hertl, Justin Braun and Joel Ward are all far less than 100 percent. That’s four of San Jose’s top six scorers.

Couture hasn’t played in two weeks due to a puck in the mouth that did major damage to his teeth and palate. Thornton has been out a week with a knee injury. Both are questionable.

The Oilers have the momentum while the Sharks have the injuries. So I’ll lay the price here.


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