For the January 2nd NHL free pick we’ve got a toss-up with a split line of -111 for both the Oilers and the Coyotes. Arizona would seemingly have an advantage in that regards being at home, but they’ve gone just 7-11-1 at Gila River Arena. Then again Edmonton has dropped six straight games so they’re also a tough bet despite an 8-9-2 road record. There’s got to be an ‘X-factor’ that decides this game:
Why Have the Oilers Sputtered So Badly?
Edmonton is in a free fall due (very) largely in part to their defense and goaltending. In the last 9 games the Oilers have allowed 4+ goals in 8 of them. Ken Hitchcock’s team doesn’t do a horrible job in limiting opponents shots (30.9, 13th in the league) but other teams seem to be making the most of their opportunities. Connor McDavid and the Edmonton offense has done a solid job of putting points on the scoreboard (3+ in six of ten) but it hasn’t been enough to overcome their own goaltending.
Mikko Koskinen gets the nod in net in the January 2nd NHL free pick. He’s trying to snap a personal 4 game losing streak and right the ship after allowing 13 goals the last three starts. The Coyotes offense has been a little murky lately so it might be the perfect opportunity for Koskinen and the Oilers defense to regroup for a run as the calendar turns to 2019. 65% of the bettors are liking the potential of Edmonton on Wednesday.
— Michael Cook (@crjcook) January 2, 2019
Coyotes May Have a Great Chance at a W Tonight
Arizona has been in a word ‘bad’ the past few years but one team they’ve seemed to have above average success against is these Oilers. Edmonton is an astounding 11-27 in the last 39 games vs. the ‘Yotes and have gone 2-7 the last 9 in Arizona. The Coyotes have won 3 of their last 5 and they seem to be getting healthier as leading goal scorer Brad Richardson is back from the flu and Vinnie Hinostroza tries to get back into the swing of things after missing 10 games with an ankle injury.
Two players trending upwards also make Arizona very appealing in the January 2nd NHL free pick. Alex Galchenyuk is riding a 5 game point streak even though the Coyotes offense is overall struggling scoring a goal or less in 6 of their last 10. The offense may not need a lot with Adin Hill in net however. Hill has gone 7-3 over his last 10 decisions and he ranks 8th in GAA among goaltenders with 10+ starts.
January 2nd NHL Free Pick Betting
For whatever reason, the Oilers struggle with these Coyotes. That hasn’t stopped the public from loading up on Edmonton with a perceived solid value of -111 on Wednesday. The Coyotes haven’t played horribly lately and to be honest the Oilers just seem like to easy of a play. The Oilers have played their last five at home (all losses) and will look a bit shaky playing away from Edmonton for the 1st time since December 16th.
NHL Free Pick: Arizona Coyotes -111