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Bet on Panthers to handle Oilers in Monday night matchup

Have the Oilers hit rock bottom yet?

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: Sam Reinhart #13 of the Florida Panthers controls the puck against Ryan Strome #16 of the Anaheim Ducks during the third period of a game at Honda Center on November 17, 2023 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: Sam Reinhart #13 of the Florida Panthers controls the puck against Ryan Strome #16 of the Anaheim Ducks during the third period of a game at Honda Center on November 17, 2023 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Read moreSean M. Haffey / Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers are quite an interesting team to handicap.

At this point we can say with some certainty that the betting market overrated the Oilers (who were essentially a co-favorite to win the Stanley Cup) coming into the season, but it’s also fair to argue that Edmonton has played better than its 5-10-1 record and has been the victim of terrible goaltending and plenty of bad bounces.

If the Oilers could see some improvement in both of those departments then they could go on a major run and bettors will want to get in before the market adjusts, but on the other hand there’s no guarantee that those things will turn around.

The paradoxical Oilers travel to Sunrise to take on the Florida Panthers on Monday night. The game is essentially priced as a pick’em.

Oilers vs. Panthers prediction: Analysis

While the Oilers have been underwhelming this season, the Panthers have been quite impressive. There were plenty of pundits calling for Florida to struggle out of the gates due to some key injuries and fatigue from their run to the Stanley Cup Final last spring, but the Cats have answered that bell with an 11-5-1 start to the campaign.

What’s more is that Florida’s statistical profile -- and the eye test -- back up its record. Simply put, the Panthers are playing some great hockey right now.

Both of these teams sport strong 5-on-5 numbers, but its Florida’s defensive numbers that are the key to this handicap. The Panthers rank third in the NHL at preventing high-danger scoring chances and also boast the seventh-best expected goals against numbers in the league this season. The Oilers can give any defense headaches, but the Cats stand a chance to slow down Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and company.

In addition to a sturdy defense, the Panthers will also have the edge in goaltending. The Oilers have not found an answer in goal yet this season and it’s hard to look away from that fatal flaw when you’re going up against a team that has plenty of high-end playmakers.

With their goaltending in shambles, the Oilers need to outscore their problems to win games. It’ll be hard to do that against this defense.

Oilers vs. Panthers prediction: Pick

  1. The Bet: Florida Panthers -115 (DraftKings)

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