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Oilers vs. Avalanche Game 1 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds and Preview – May 31st, 2022

By Hank Blaine

The NHL’s Western Conference Finals start Tuesday night and feature two of the best offensive teams in the league in the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are home favorites for the opener.

This will be the third playoff meeting between the Avalanche and Oilers, following a five-game victory by Colorado in the 1997 conference semifinals and a Game 7 triumph by Edmonton in the 1998 Conference Quarterfinals. The Nordiques never faced the Oilers in the playoffs before they relocated to Denver in 1995-96, nor did the clubs meet in the postseason during their time together in the WHA.

It’s rare for two powerhouse offensive teams like the Avalanche and Oilers to meet in later rounds of the postseason, when they’re also pacing the playoff field in average goals-per-game (4.33 for the Avalanche, 4.30 for the Oilers). This matchup is the fifth final-four series in Stanley Cup playoffs history – and first in 34 years – to feature two clubs each entering with an average goals-per-game of 4.30 or higher.

This will mark the second time in Stanley Cup playoff history that a final-four series will feature multiple No. 1 picks on each side, with the Avalanche icing Nathan MacKinnon (2013) and Erik Johnson (2006) against the Oilers tandem of Connor McDavid (2015) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011). The other such series came in the 1977 semifinals when Montreal faced the New York Islanders.

The series also will be the first in postseason history to feature each of the top four active skaters on the career playoff points-per-game list (minimum 30 games played), with the Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl (1.61) and McDavid (1.45) set to go head-to-head against Colorado’s MacKinnon (1.37) and Mikko Rantanen (1.19).

Nitrobetting is ready to dish out some slick assists to get bets into the back of the net. This time, let’s break down the upcoming Game 1 Western Conference Finals matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche, along with the latest NHL odds and information about the teams and players involved.

Oilers vs. Avalanche Game 1 Information

  • When: Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
  • Radio: CHED 630 AM (Oilers) // Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM (Avalanche)
  • Live Stream: NHL Live
  • NHL Betting Odds: Oilers (+156) / Avalanche (-182)

READ MORE: Lightning vs. Rangers Game 1 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds and Preview – June 1st, 2022

Why Bet on the Edmonton Oilers?

The Oilers will contest the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2006 after defeating their rivals the Calgary Flames in five games during the second round of the playoffs.

McDavid and Draisaitl have carried the Oilers up front as they’re tied for the team lead in points at 26 in this postseason; MacKinnon and defenseman Cale Makar are tied for the Avalanche lead with 13 points each.

MacKinnon scored a goal in all three games against Edmonton in 2021-22 and has a four-game goal streak against the club dating to Nov. 27, 2019. McDavid has had multiple points in half of the games he has played against Colorado (8 of 16 GP), including two hat tricks and a career-best six-point showing on Nov. 14, 2019 in Denver. Draisaitl had five assists in that game.

Kane and McDavid each have seven career goals in 12 games played against Darcy Kuemper, tied for the most among any NHL player (San Jose’s Tomas Hertl has seven in 15 games vs. Kuemper).

Edmonton’s 40-year-old Smith has an 8-3-0 record in these playoffs with a .927 SV% and 2.70 GAA. Unlike Kuemper, who has faced the fewest shots among remaining playoff goaltenders, Smith has been peppered with the second-most.

The Oilers outweigh the Avalanche in terms of Conference Finals/Stanley Cup Semifinals experience, entering with 10 players who have skated in the round to Colorado’s six.

Oilers are 19-7 in their last 26 games following a win.

Why Bet on the Colorado Avalanche?

Colorado won the regular-season series 2-1 but did lose the most recent matchup 6-3 in Edmonton on April 22 behind an Evander Kane hat trick. He also had an assist. Connor McDavid had three assists. Mike Smith had 34 saves. Darcy Kuemper finished with 21 saves for the Avalanche, who were without several key players due to injury or illness.

The Avalanche were far and away the top side of the Western Conference during the regular season with a 56-19-7 record. But after a sweep of the Nashville Predators in the first round and a six-game defeat of the St. Louis Blues, they’ll have to prove it in the playoffs against Edmonton in the Western Conference Final — a place the Avalanche haven’t been since 2002 when current General Manager Joe Sakic was captain of the club.

Colorado’ Kuemper has been solid if unspectacular in the playoffs, posting a 6-2-0 record, .904 save percentage and 2.44 goals-against average. Colorado has given up the third-fewest goals against per game (2.70) among remaining playoff teams, and its power play is operating at a crisp 34.5% (best in show throughout the postseason).

Oilers vs. Avalanche Betting Trends

  • Oilers are 19-7 in their last 26 games following a win.
  • Oilers are 5-2 in their last 7 vs. Central.
  • The total went over in 4 of Edmonton’s last 5 games.
  • Avalanche are 58-19 in their last 77 games as a favorite.
  • Avalanche are 38-13 in their last 51 games following a win.
  • The total went under in 12 of Colorado’s last 16 games against an opponent in the Pacific Division division.

Oilers vs. Avalanche Expert Betting Predictions

Avalanche 4, Oilers 3.

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.