The Edmonton Oilers are in pole position to advance into the Western Conference final for the first time since 2006. They have the 3-1 edge over the Flames in the Battle of Alberta series and a win in Thursday’s clash in Calgary will rubberstamp their passage. In this Oilers vs Flames game preview, we leave no stone unturned. We weigh in on Game 5 of the Battle of Alberta series, examine the NHL odds, and round up with some final thoughts.
Battle of Alberta Series
Oilers One Win Away
NHL markets tagged the Edmonton Oilers as the underdogs at the start of this series. After all, the Calgary Flames were the Pacific Division champions and most top sportsbooks tagged Darryl Sutter’s side as one of the top five bets to win the Stanley Cup.
The market outlook appeared to be validated after the Flames handed the Oilers a bruising loss in the 15-goal series-opening thriller. The Flames highlighted their superiority, quality, and skill. As well, the gap that emerged between themselves and the Edmonton Oilers in the standings during the regular season ultimately led to their division title victory.
As we all saw, the Oilers put the kibosh on those notions quickly by bouncing back with a 5-3 victory in Game 2. Thus, stealing home advantage just before the series headed to the Oil Capital of Canada.
In the ensuing two games in Edmonton, the Oilers picked up the tempo and intensity. They took a commanding 4-1 win in Game 3 and then pressed their agenda in Game 4, taking the 5-3 win on Tuesday night.
Oilers vs Flames Odds
As a consequence of the momentum shift, the Oilers are now the runaway favorites to win the series.
Somewhat surprisingly, they’re the conspicuous underdogs to win Game 5 across the NHL odds board. Whether the oddsmakers have it right, remains to be seen.
Oilers vs Flames game preview odds are cornered with the hosts. The Flames are priced at -150 while the Oilers are priced at +130. The total is projected to 6 ½ with a lean towards the OVER at -125.
The Flames’ inspired 9-6 win in game 1 was supposed to be a harbinger of what was to come in this series. Heck, on its heels, more than a few Stanley Cup betting tips in circulation, served up the Flames as a value bet.
Now, they’re facing an existential crisis with their backs against the wall. A lot of things went wrong for the Flames. It’s not just one thing, however, goalie Jacob Markstrom carries some of the responsibility for this series turning against them.
Indeed, if the Flames are to win Game 5, they need a more polished effort from Markstrom. Some help from the defense wouldn’t go amiss either as they need to be sharper and more disciplined too.
Oilers vs Flames – What’s Likely to Happen?
The Oilers are in the ascendancy but the markets are bearish on their chances to wrap up this series in Game 5.
One can suppose the thinking behind the Oilers vs Flames game preview odds for Game 5 are rooted in the “must-win” scenario that the Flames face on Thursday night. As if the Flames have a greater incentive to win than the Oilers do, though that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The “Battle of Alberta” theme and the storied rivalry it conjures is probably another aspect behind this market. Who wouldn’t want to see it go to Game 6? Or the distance?
That said, the Oilers have as much incentive to win and avoid prolonging this series any longer than they have to. It’s a risk because a win by Calgary in Game 5 could be tantamount to disaster if it inspires a come-from-behind series win.Follow us on Twitter