The Edmonton Oilers kick off the Western Conference Final on the road, as the Colorado Avalanche look to show the hockey world why, according to NHL betting lines, they’re the Stanley Cup favorites.
NHL playoff odds have the Avs as -250 favorites to get by the Oilers, while Canada’s only remaining team are +200 underdogs to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final.
Oilers vs. Avalanche Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under
Moneyline: Oilers (+150) | Avs (-182)
Spread: Oilers +1.5 (-154) | Avs -1.5 (+125)
Total: 6.5 Over -133 | 6.5 Under +115
Oilers vs. Avalanche Analysis
This series pits the two most potent offenses against each other, with the Oilers scoring the most goals per game (4.33) and the Avs, with 4.30 goals per game, nipping at their heels.
Contrary to how most people see first periods going in this series, only two goals were scored in three regular-season first periods against each other. Colorado scored both, yet only won one of two when netting first.
During the postseason, the Avs are 4-1 when scoring first. Amazingly, the Avs have the very same 4-1 record when conceding first. That .800 winning percentage when allowing the first goal is by far the best in the playoffs, a testament to the Avs’ never-say-die mentality.
It helps having the postseason’s best power-play (34.5%), the second-best five-on-five goals for above expected (4.43) and some of the NHL’s most talented offensive weapons, including Nathan MacKinnon, who should rise to the occasion in the Conference Final.
If the Oilers can jump out to an early start, it will put the Avs’ 4-1 come-from-behind record to the test. Edmonton is 6-0 in the playoffs when netting the opener, the only remaining team with an unblemished record after scoring first.
While both teams are inarguably banged up, Colorado is more severely impacted by the injury bug and are missing Samuel Girard, a key member of their defensive crew. He is out for the remainder of the playoffs with a broken sternum.
After losing two of three on home ice against the Blues, the Avs are a disappointing 3-2 at the Ball Arena. Having won two in a row on the road, the Oilers march into Colorado with an impressive 4-2 mark as visitors.
Both teams know the importance of not only scoring first, but starting the game on the front foot. Expect the first period, with either team testing the waters and not wanting to go down early, to be slightly cagey and somewhat low scoring.
While that isn’t congruent with either team’s prolific offensive stats and seemingly limitless attacking prowess, Jay Woodcroft and Jared Bednar will do everything in their power to prevent the superstars from immediately letting loose.
As the Avs have suffered lately on home ice, Bednar will focus on getting his desired matchups to equalize the Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl threat, especially early in Game 1.
Goals, though, will eventually flow, as no matter how well either team defends, these two sides have too much scoring power to be continually suppressed.
Expect the Avs to score first, win Game 1 by a pair and end their two-game home losing streak in the process.
Oilvers vs. Avalanche Predictions
Spread: Avs -1.5 (+125)
Moneyline: Avs (-182)
Total: Over 6.5 (-133)
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.