San Jose At Edmonton NHL Game 1 Expert Picks
It is said that familiarity breeds contempt, which is perhaps why hockey fans love it when divisional rivals end up getting put together in the playoffs. You often get hostilities spilling over from games played during the regular season, which can often mean that the bad blood in a playoff series boils a little hotter than it would against a non-divisional foe. We have a couple of divisional series in the opening round, with the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers being just one of them. The Pacific Division foes will be starting their opening round playoff series in Edmonton on Wednesday night, and if the regular season match-up between these two is anything to go by, this is one that might well go the full 7 games. It was the Oilers who won the best of 5 regular season series by 3 games to 2, but all 5 games were close, proving that these two teams are very well matched. This series should be tight from start to finish, and a little bit of luck may be what separates them in the end. Find the updated NHL betting picks here.
A Closer Look At The Sharks At Oilers NHL Game 1 Expert Picks
When: Wednesday, April 12 at 10 PM EST
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton
TV: USA, SN, TVAS, NBCS CA
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: Edmonton Oilers -1½ (+195)
Why bet on the San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks did not end the season on a very high note, going just 4-6-0 in their last 10 games. The final month and a half of the season was a bit of a struggle, but this is not a team that should be written off, as they proved last year that they have what it takes to go on an extended playoff run. Defensively, this team is sound, but they are not without their flaws. The Sharks were mediocre at best in special teams during the regular season, and when you are playing in a tight series, it could be a PP goal or a penalty kill that could swing things in your favor. This is an area where they will need to improve if they hope to move on.
Why bet on the Edmonton Oilers
You hate to hang all your hopes on one player, especially one that is still relatively new to the league, but you can bet that the Edmonton Oilers will go as far as Connor McDavid can carry them. The young man finished the season with 100 points, best in the NHL, which is all the more incredible when you consider that it was only his second season in the league, and his first full one after an injury shortened rookie season. The Oilers were very good offensively all year, and also ranked top 10 in defense, but where they may have the edge here is on the PP, where they were #5 in the league.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Sharks will need to show some real discipline, as that Oilers power play will kill them if given too many opportunities. Edmonton had won 3 in a row versus San Jose, and I think they will make it 4 on Wednesday night.