It’s time for another edition of my weekly game odds. We’ve got another four games on deck this week, and two more of them are against the Maple Leafs. I’ve got a feeling that we’re going to be very sick of them by the end of January. Last week the Oilers did well to split the games against the Leafs, and pulled off a dramatic comeback victory last night against the Jets. Jesse Puljujarvi looked fantastic on the top line last night, and his emergence gives me some optimism that my model (which is still based on last season’s stats, for now) might be underestimating the Oilers a little bit.
If Puljujarvi can have a similar impact on the McDavid line, to the one Yamamoto had on the Draisaitl line upon his call-up last season, we could be witnessing a very formidable one-two punch this season.
Much of that remains to be seen, but, for now, here are my game odds for this week (as of the publishing time, there are no industry lines out for any game):
1/26/21 in Winnipeg (also Gretzky’s 60th birthday, btw):
Oilers (51%), Jets (49%)
Bet on Oilers if odds > 1.96 (unlikely), bet on Jets if odds > 2.04 (likely)
1/28/21 Toronto Maple Leafs in Edmonton:
Edmonton (46%), Toronto (54%)
Bet on Oilers if odds > 2.19, bet on Leafs if odds > 1.84
1/30/21 Leafs in Edmonton again:
Same odds as above.
1/31/21 Ottawa Senators in Edmonton:
Oilers (55%), Senators (45%)
Bet on Oilers if odds > 1.81 (unlikely), bet on Sens if odds > 2.23 (likely)
So far it seems that gambling industry lines are a little bit more bullish on the Oilers than my model is. This may be because they’ve correctly identified that the Oilers’ roster is slightly improved from last season, but, it also just may be because the Oilers have a lot of firepower and a rabid fan base, and are therefore consistently a popular team to bet on.
Hopefully the reason is more the former than the latter. I like the idea that the best modelers in the world like the Oilers’ roster, more than that they know we’re a bunch of idiots who will always bet on our team no matter what.
Either way, there’s a bunch of hockey this week, and that’s not a bad thing. Good luck, folks!