The 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers bring some very interesting matchups Wednesday, August 5, including Game 3 of the best-of-five series between the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks. The series is tied at the moment, as these two Western Conference rivals have produced remarkable 19 goals in the total thus far.
We expect to see another thrilling game Wednesday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, but without the audience on the stands, so let’s take a closer look at both teams and find the best betting picks on the market.
Edmonton is without defenseman Mike Green (opted out), while another defenseman Caleb Jones (unfit) is doubtful to play. Chicago misses defensemen Brent Seabrook (unfit) and Dennis Gilbert (wrist), while winger Zack Smith is also sidelined, recovering from a back injury.
The Oilers are -140 money line favorites at BetAmerica, while the Blackhawks are listed as +120 dogs on the same platform. The total has been set at 6.5 goals on BetMGM.
What’s at Stake?
The winner will get one step away from the next round. The Oilers have missed the playoffs in 12 of the last 13 years. The Blackhawks are trying to reach the first round for the first time since 2017. They’ve won the Stanley Cup three times over the previous 10 years.
The Blackhawks pulled off an upset in Game 1, beating the Oilers 6-4 as +115 underdogs. The Oilers bounced back Monday night, outlasting the Blackhawks 6-3 as -140 favorites. Edmonton hope to keep the momentum on their side.
The first two games of the series were pure firecrackers. Both easily went in the over of the 6.5-goal line, while the over is 5-1 in the last six encounters between the Blackhawks and Oilers. Chicago is 11-7 in its last 18 games against Edmonton.
Edmonton averaged 3.14 goals per game in the regular season (tied-14th in the NHL). Still, the Oilers possess a couple of most efficient players in the league. Leon Draisaitl had 110 points (43 goals and 67 assists), while Connor McDavid added 97 points (34 goals and 63 assists).
McDavid tortured the Blackhawks in Game 2, scoring a hat-trick out of three shots on goal. He scored once and added a pair of dishes in Game 1, as well as Draisaitl who was scoreless in Game 2.
On the other side, Dominik Kubalik exploded in the opener with two goals and three assists. Patrick Kane was leading the way for the Blackhawks in the regular season, scoring 33 goals and 51 assists, and he has one goal and a couple of dishes in this series. The Blackhawks averaged 2.97 goals per game this past regular season (18th in the league).
Mikko Koskinen guarded the cage for Edmonton in Game 2 and should get another start Wednesday night. He was 18-13-3 with a 2.75 GAA and a .917 save percentage in the regular season.
Corey Crawford hasn’t impressed in the first two games of the series, but the Blackhawks don’t have a quality replacement for the 35-year-old goalie. Crawford surrendered six goals on 35 shots in Game 2, while he was 16-20-3 with a 2.77 GAA and a .917 save percentage this past regular season.
Both Edmonton and Chicago rely on their offensive lines, and neither side can brag with strong defensive work. Therefore, I expect to see another high-scoring affair. You can take the over 6.5 goals at -105 odds, but going with the alternative line at 5.5 goals should be a smart move, and the over pays -180 on BetAmerica.
The Oilers are a better team than the Blackhawks on paper, but that doesn’t mean a thing in the playoffs. Both teams proved they are very dangerous offensively, so I would avoid taking the side bet.