The Colorado Avalanche have a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Edmonton Oilers and are a win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001.
NHL betting lines reflect the Oilers’ near-impossible task, with the Avs now positioned as -5000 favorites to finish the job. The Oilers are monstrous +1400 underdogs to overturn their 3-0 series deficit, a feat only four teams have accomplished in playoff history.
NHL playoff odds for Game 4 moneyline wagers are identical to Game 3 betting lines, with the Oilers sitting at +105 underdogs.
Avalanche vs. Oilers Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under
Moneyline: Avs (-125) | Oilers (+105)
Spread: Avs -1.5 (+185) | Oilers +1.5 (-227)
Total: 7 Over +110 | 7 Under -133
Avalanche vs. Oilers Analysis
Jay Woodcroft’s team got off to the start they were looking for in Game 3, with Connor McDavid scoring the opener just 38 seconds into the contest. The raucous Edmonton crowd was at their most vociferous, albeit all too fleetingly.
Evander Kane boarded Nazem Kadri moments after McDavid’s goal. His ill-advised penalty sent the Avs on a five-minute man advantage and deflated the partisan crowd in one foul swoop.
While the Avs didn’t score on the power-play, Edmonton wasn’t able to regain the impetus for the rest of the opening frame. Colorado scored the equalizer on a fortuitous bounce at the 16:12 mark, completely silencing the home crowd.
The Avs then demonstrated why they haven’t yet tasted defeat on the road in the playoffs. Jared Bednar’s team doesn’t merely sit back and absorb pressure when they secure a lead.
Instead, they usually win the puck possession battle and dominate offensive zone time.
They defend by committee and make sure either Cale Makar or Devon Toews is on the ice to quell the McDavid and Leon Draisaitl threat. McDavid and Draisaitl have a point between them in the last two games, highlighting the extraordinary job Makar and Toews are doing at almost completely nullifying their dynamism.
Draisaitl is pointless in the last two games and hasn’t scored in six, his longest scoring drought of the season. His ankle injury probably has a lot to do with that unenviable stat.
The Oilers’ success is entirely predicated on McDavid and Draisaitl’s effectiveness and their recent lack of production is the main reason they’re a single defeat from elimination.
Colorado is a remarkable 6-0 on the road in the playoffs. They have an uncanny ability to weather the initial storm and, thanks to concerted pressure and the lion’s share of offensive zone time, score at opportune moments to swing the momentum in their favor.
The Oilers were an immaculate 6-0 when scoring first before the Western Conference Final started. They’ve dropped both games this series after netting the opener.
Mike Smith came up with some acrobatic, unconventional and sensational stops to keep the Oilers within reach.
However, he has a frustrating tendency to precede a sensational save by allowing a weak one. Smith, who stopped 39 of 42 shots, enjoyed a sterling .929 save percentage, but couldn’t come up with a comparatively simple stop when his team needed it most.
Pavel Francouz, who stopped 27 of 29, also allowed a weak one that leveled proceedings in the third period. The difference is that his team found a way to score at an opportune moment, completely negating his previous error.
The Oilers played the best they have all series, but still lost, a disheartening thought for a team down three games.
The Avs will be without Kadri for Game 4, who is expected to miss at least the remainder of the series after hitting the boards awkwardly on Kane’s first-period boarding major.
Kane has been suspended for one game by the NHL and is unavailable for Game 4. Kailer Yamamoto missed Game 3 due to an upper-body injury. While his status is unknown for Game 4, it’s unlikely he’ll be in the lineup.
Draisaitl, who also fell awkwardly into the boards, reinjured his ankle in the first period. He is going to suit up in Game 4, but there’s no telling how effective he will be. The Oilers’ superstar was a passenger for most of Game 3, showing clear signs of discomfort.
For the Oilers to extend the series to a fifth game, everything must go their way on Monday night, an unlikely outcome considering their current injury woes to key offensive players.
Scoring first hasn’t been enough, nor was a six-goal Game 1 outburst that saw McDavid and Draisaitl combine for five points. Smith had his best game of the series in Game 3 and McDavid scored less than a minute into the affair, yet the Oilers still lost.
There’s not much else the Oilers can do to get over the hump against an inspired and highly motivated Avs team.
It also appears the Oilers don’t have much left in the tank. Those factors combined with the knowledge that only two percent of teams trailing 3-0 overturned the deficit should be enough to seal Edmonton’s fate.
Look for the Avs to win Game 4 and secure their berth in the Stanley Cup Final.
Avalache vs. Oilers Predictions
Spread: Avs -1.5 (+185)
Moneyline: Avs (-125)
Total: Under 7 (+110)
NHL Parlay Picks at BetMGM
BetMGM has you covered not only during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but throughout the NHL season. But the NHL playoffs are the perfect time for making NHL parlay picks in between examining the latest Stanley Cup betting odds.