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Morning Coffee: Oilers still a popular pick to win Stanley Cup at FanDuel

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl - The Canadian Press

The Edmonton Oilers were the biggest disappointment in the National Hockey League over the first month of the season.

That hasn’t stopped bettors at FanDuel from believing they have what it takes to win hockey’s ultimate prize.

Since their coaching change was announced on Sunday, the Oilers have been the most popular pick to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel.

Edmonton was a top-three choice to win the Stanley Cup at +1100 odds before the season started.

While their odds to win it all have lengthened following a disappointing start to the season, the gap isn’t nearly as big as some might have anticipated it would be.

For as bad as things looked over the first four weeks, the public still has faith that the Oilers can turn it around.

This is the Morning Coffee for Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

Oilers still a popular pick to win Stanley Cup At FanDuel

With two of the best hockey players in the world leading the way up front, Edmonton entered the season as a top-three choice to win the Stanley Cup at +1100 at FanDuel.

Not much went right for them over the first four weeks. The Oilers stumbled out of the gates with a 2-9-1 record.

Edmonton was held to two goals or fewer in seven of their first 12 games.

Opening-night starter Jack Campbell went 1-4-0 with a 4.50 goals-against average and an .873 save percentage before being demoted.

Stuart Skinner went 1-6-1 and allowed three or more goals in all but one of his first eight starts.

The brutal start to the year hit a low point with a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 9.

The Sharks, coming off their first win of the season that night, were a +275 money line underdog at FanDuel that night.

Three days later, the Oilers fired Jay Woodcroft as head coach and replaced him with Kris Knoblauch.

On Monday night, Edmonton beat the New York Islanders 4-1 in Knoblauch’s debut behind the bench.

While it’s only one game, our NHL analyst Meghan Chayka highlighted how the underlying analytics support the theory that the Oilers can get back on track.

A disastrous start, combined with the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks starting the season on fire, means that Edmonton likely won’t contend for a Pacific Division title.

The Oilers odds to win the division ballooned from +380 to +1300 following the 2-9-1 start. However, their odds to win the Western Conference barely budged from +500 to +600 at FanDuel.

We also didn’t see a major adjustment to Edmonton’s odds to win the Stanley Cup, which ticked up from +1100 to +1300 at FanDuel.

According to the traders at FanDuel, the Oilers have been the most popular team in terms of bets in the Stanley Cup winner market over the past three days.

Knoblauch has been a popular pick in the Jack Adams Award market at 30-to-1 odds.

McDavid remains the favourite to win the Hart Trophy.

Additionally, FanDuel has Edmonton at -200 to make the playoffs – a 66.7 per cent implied probability.

If they can find a way to right the ship and get into the postseason, no one would be willing to write them off as a legitimate contender.

Of course, that might already be the case right now. After all, the Oilers have been the most popular choice to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel over the past 72 hours. 

Spread for 110th Grey Cup continues to move in Bombers favour

The Montreal Alouettes pulled off one of the most stunning upsets of the CFL season with a win over the Toronto Argonauts in the Eastern Final.

That won’t matter one bit when they take the field in Hamilton on Sunday evening.

It’s one thing to pull off the improbable in a playoff game. It’s another to double down and do it for a second week in a row in the biggest game of the year.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers opened -6.5 versus Montreal in the 110th Grey Cup. It wasn’t long before the traders at FanDuel adjusted that number to Winnipeg -7.5, but they weren’t done there.

The Bombers are up to -8.5 at FanDuel this morning.

How many points is too many to lay with the favourite in the 110th Grey Cup?

I’m not convinced that 8.5 is enough to keep CFL fans from betting on Winnipeg to win and cover at FanDuel.

The Alouettes were never expected to get this far. If that was the case, we would have never been able to find Montreal at +1500 to win the Grey Cup at FanDuel just nine days ago.

The Alouettes completed one of the most improbable upsets of the season as a +440 money line underdog on the road in Toronto on Saturday.

While Montreal deserves full marks for the victory, the Argonauts certainly made their fair share of mistakes that contributed to their early playoff exit.

Chad Kelly threw four interceptions in the loss, including a 101-yard pick-six in the first quarter that he never seemed to recover from.

Toronto outgained the Alouettes 381-197 in net offence, but turnovers and penalties negated the success the Argonauts had on that side of the football and led to a 38-17 loss in their own stadium.

While nobody expected Kelly to struggle the way that he did versus Montreal, it’s almost inconceivable to expect a similar performance from Zach Collaros on Sunday.

The Bombers can learn a valuable lesson from what went wrong for Toronto, and make sure that they don’t give the Alouettes the opportunities they would need in order to pull off another upset win this weekend.

Montreal is up to +320 to win the 110th Grey Cup at FanDuel.

While that’s a shorter price than the Alouettes closed at when they were +440 against the Argonauts on Saturday, there’s still a couple of days for that number to move in Winnipeg’s favour.

Meanwhile, with the early money pushing the spread from Bombers -6.5 to -8.5 at FanDuel, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Winnipeg’s top players are the favourites in a number of the special markets that FanDuel has posted.

Collaros is a -140 favourite to throw for the most passing yards in the 110th Grey Cup, with Cody Fajardo at +100.

Collaros is also the Grey Cup MVP favourite at +200.

Brady Oliveira is a heavy favourite to finish with the most rushing yards on Sunday at -320, well ahead of William Stanback at +250 as the second choice in that market.

Oliveira is also the favourite to win the Most Valuable Canadian Player at -175, with teammate Nic Demski as the second choice at +120.

No other Canadian has shorter than 12-to-1 odds to win that award at FanDuel this morning.

Kenny Lawler is the favourite to finish with the most receiving yards in the 110th Grey Cup at +200.

Austin Mack (+340), Dalton Schoen (+340), Tyler Snead (+550) and Demski (+650) round out the top five choices to finish with the most receiving yards in Sunday’s game.

As the spread continues to shift in Winnipeg’s favour, I’d be interested to know how many bettors are more willing to bet on Collaros to win Grey Cup MVP or throw for the most passing yards in the game versus betting the Bombers at -8.5 or higher.

Is there a FanDuel Best Bet for the 110th Grey Cup that you think is worth a sprinkle?

Hit me up @Domenic_Padula on X and tell me about it.