- The Oilers have better odds to win the Cup than their arch-rivals, other sportsbooks see the Flames as the stronger team
- Edmonton narrowly avoided a season sweep at the hands Calgary with an 8-3 win on Saturday
- Read below to find out what team is the better bet to make a deep playoff run this year
Sportsbooks are split on whether the Flames or Oilers have the better chance at winning the Stanley Cup in 2020.
Considering both teams are no better than mid-tier contenders in the 2020 Stanley Cup odds, which team has a more realistic chance at making a deep playoff run this season?
2020 Stanley Cup Odds: Pacific Division Teams
|Team||Odds 1||Odds 2|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1600||+2000|
|San Jose Sharks||+10000||+7000|
|Los Angeles Kings||+50000||+50000|
Odds taken Feb. 3
The Oilers are currently second in the Pacific Division with 62 points in 52 games, while the Flames occupy the first Wild Card spot with 60 points in 53 games.
Rivalry Reaches Boiling Point
The Battle of Alberta is reaching a fever pitch. A brawl broke out between the Flames and Oilers on Saturday night at Scotiabank Center which included a goalie fight between Cam Talbot and Mike Smith. The Oilers won the game 8-3 and now have a two-point lead over Calgary in the Pacific Division standings.
The Flames won the first three meetings of the season series before getting blown out by the Oilers in the fourth. Despite the Flames having the edge in the head-to-head this season, sportsbooks are split on which team is better suited for a long playoff run.
Advanced Stats Favor Oilers
While neither Edmonton or Calgary has elite advanced stats, the Oilers do hold an edge when it comes to some key analytics. Edmonton has a solid 51.51 High-Danger Chances Percentage (HDC) and 49.87 Expected Goals Percentage (XGF), while the Flames have a slightly worse 50.49 HDC and a 49.75 XGF.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 2, 2020
It’s also impossible to ignore the Flames -17 goal differential, which is fourth-worst in the entire Western Conference. The Oilers have been much more solid with a plus-8 goal differential — good for second-best in the Pacific Division.
Both the Oilers and Flames are surrendering just over three goals-per-game, but Calgary is averaging only 2.64 goals-for, while the Oilers are scoring 3.23 goals-per-game. Edmonton also has a top-10 power play (29.5%) and penalty kill (83.1%), while the Flames have struggled on special teams (19.6 PP% and 81.6 PK%).
Oilers Have More Upside
The Oilers have more upside for a deep playoff run due to Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Both superstars are having incredible seasons and rank 1-2 in the NHL scoring race. No one else is given a fighting chance at winning the 2020 Art Ross.
The Flames, meanwhile, don’t have a single player among the top-50 in NHL scoring.
Leon Draisaitl now leads the League in scoring with 83 points! 👏 pic.twitter.com/N4JHvAqhVG
— NHL (@NHL) February 3, 2020
The Oilers last made the playoffs in 2017 when they got to the second round and lost in seven games to the Ducks. McDavid and Draisaitl were just youngsters when they combined for 11 goals and 26 points in 13 postseason games to almost lead Edmonton to the Western Conference Final. They’ll be more experienced and poised this time around.
The Flames have shown nothing in the playoffs recently that indicates they can make a lengthy playoff run. While they’ve made it the playoffs in two of the last three years, they’ve managed just one total playoff win in that span. To make matter worse, star forward Johnny Gaudreau has been held to just three assists (no goals) in those games.
If you’re going to pick between Edmonton or Calgary making it to the Stanley Cup Final this season, the upside of McDavid and Draisaitl makes the Oilers the best bet.
The Flames have managed just one win in their last nine playoff games and haven’t proven they can handle the grind of the NHL postseason. The Oilers showed great potential when they last made the playoffs and are a solid longshot bet for the Stanley Cup due to their two superstars, excellent special teams and quality advanced stats.
Pick: Oilers +2500
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