Oilers betting underdogs hosting Bolts Friday night

Oilers analyst Mark Spector says it makes too much sense to wait until after the all-star break for Connor McDavid’s much-anticipated return to the lineup.

The Edmonton Oilers will be gunning for a third straight win Friday night when they play host to the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning as +115 home betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Oilers return from a three-day break following a 1-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, marking the club’s first shutout win since March of last year, continuing recent solid play which has seen them surrender just four total goals over their past three contests.

The club’s brief winning streak comes following a brutal second half of December, during which they lost seven of eight while getting outscored by a woeful 27-12 margin.

Edmonton’s poor end-of-year performance has decimated their Stanley Cup odds, which had climbed to 40/1 in early December, but sit at 66/1 ahead of Friday night’s Lightning vs. Oilers betting matchup at Rexall Place.

The Lightning, meanwhile, arrive in Edmonton looking to shake the inconsistency that has plagued them all season. Tampa Bay has tallied just three wins in their past eight contests, and have strung together consecutive wins on just three occasions since the first week of the NHL campaign.

Winless in their past four visits to Edmonton, Tampa Bay opened their current four-game western swing with a 3-1 loss in Calgary on Tuesday night to remain mired in sixth place in the Atlantic Division standings with 42 points.

The Lightning travel to Vancouver Saturday to take on the Canucks, while the Oilers will await a visit from the red-hot Florida Panthers on Sunday.

The Canucks have won four of their last six games to climb into third place in the Pacific Division, but continue to lag at 40/1 on the odds to win the Stanley Cup. The Panthers' current hot stretch has lifted them to the top of the Atlantic Division and powered them to 12/1 on the Stanley Cup odds after they had trailed at 40/1 just two weeks ago.

The Washington Capitals continue to lead the way as 11/2 favourites to win the Stanley Cup, followed closely by the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, deadlocked at 15/2, and the Dallas Stars at 8/1.

The Montreal Canadiens have recorded just three wins in their past 10 games, but continue to lead all Canadian-based clubs with 14/1 Stanley Cup odds, well ahead of the Senators and Flames, who each join Vancouver at 40/1.

The Winnipeg Jets have slipped slightly to 75/1 on those futures, and now sit alongside the Toronto Maple Leafs, who continue a slow rise up the Stanley Cup odds.