NHL Best Bets: Oilers vs. Flames Game Picks

One of the best rivalries in the NHL is set to go down Saturday night, with the Calgary Flames playing host to the Edmonton Oilers for another chapter in the Battle of Alberta.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Edmonton Oilers (+130) vs. Calgary Flames (-156) Total: 6.5 (O-122, U+100)

The Flames and Oilers have quietly gotten off to solid starts, meaning there will be even more at stake during their second meeting since they faced off in the postseason last year. Calgary has put together a 5-1 record and won two straight, while the Oilers sit at 5-3 and have won three consecutive games. There’s a lot of positivity surrounding what should be two of the top contenders in the Western Conference. 

What’s interesting about these two teams is how they differ from a strategy perspective. The Oilers play more of a run-and-gun game under Jay Woodcraft, which shouldn’t be a surprise with two of the best players in the NHL.

On the other side of the coin, the Flames will smother you to death defensively and have a very strong defense, which is exactly how their head coach Darryl Sutter wants them to play. 

In terms of the goalie matchup tonight, look for the Oilers to turn toward Jack Campbell, while the Flames should do the same with Jacob Markstrom.

To say it’s been a struggle early on for Campbell with the Oilers would be an understatement, considering he has posted an .888 save percentage through six starts, which certainly won’t cut it. It hasn’t been a banner start for Markstrom either, but he’s shown some signs of breaking out of his early struggles posting a .907 save percentage over four starts. 

With the Oilers’ comeback attempt falling short in the earlier matchup this season, expect a much better start tonight. They played sleepily early on in the previous meeting, and that shouldn’t be the case on Hockey Night in Canada.

There’s not a lot separating these teams despite playing different brands of hockey, meaning it’s hard to pass up the solid plus-money value the Oilers have on the road tonight at +130. 

Best Bet: Oilers moneyline (+130) 

These two teams already met two weeks ago and provided us with a 4-3 Flames victory, meaning it shouldn’t be a surprise that the total for tonight is set at 6.5.

There’s certainly offensive firepower on both sides, with the Oilers having an advantage in that department. It’s been somewhat of a struggle for the Oilers’ starter in net to kick off his first season of a five-year deal, and there are concerns about how he’s starting games for them. That might make you pause when considering the under tonight, but with the spotlight on this matchup, the Oilers should be well prepared to weather the storm early on. If they can escape the first ten minutes without allowing multiple goals, there’s some real value in siding with the under 6.5 at +100. 

Best Bet: Under 6.5 (+100) 

When these two teams collide, it’s hard not to target one of the Oilers’ superstar talents to be a difference-maker up front. Leon Draisaitl has recorded 51 points in 39 career regular-season games against the Flames, which should give you some confidence in how he projects tonight.

The big German forward has already recorded four goals and 11 assists through eight games, indicating he hasn’t missed a beat after recording 110 points last season. Draisaitl recorded 55 goals last season and is poised to put together a similar campaign in 2022-23, meaning there’s some value in targeting him to score in this rivalry matchup at +150. 

Best Prop: Leon Draisaitl to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+150)