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NHL Betting Preview (April 18): Avalanche vs. Oilers Odds

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew MacNeil
19 days ago
The Oilers and Avalanche will meet one last time to close out the 2023-24 regular season. This article breaks down odds and trends that make Thursday’s game interesting, from a betting perspective.

Avalanche vs. Oilers Odds

  • Colorado Avalanche Moneyline Odds: -185
  • Edmonton Oilers Moneyline Odds: +155
  • Puck Line Odds: Avalanche -1.5 (+130), Oilers +1.5 (-155)
  • Game Total: 6.5 goals (over -120, under +100)
All odds courtesy of Bet365.

Last Matchup

This marks the third time that Colorado and Edmonton have gone head-to-head since March 16th. Each team has one victory in the season series. The Avalanche won the first meeting 3-2 in overtime, but the Oilers came out on top in the last game by a score of 6-2. Both games were played at Rogers Place.
Check out Daily Faceoff to get updates regarding the line combinations and goaltenders for Thursday’s matchup.

Handicapping the Avalanche (49-32 SU, 39-42 ATS, 47-31 OU)

Unlike the Oilers, the Avalanche know their first round opponent. In fact, as of right now, Colorado’s matchup against the Winnipeg Jets is the only Western Conference matchup that’s set. Therefore, this is a meaningless tuneup game for Colorado, and at this point it’s unclear whether they will be resting any of their top stars, like Nathan MacKinnon or Mikko Rantanen. However, following Sunday’s loss to Vegas, Rantanen did suggest that picking up another win before the end of the season is important to the team.
Colorado has had three days off, and they’d probably like to shake the rust off now, rather than wait until the series opener versus Winnipeg. The betting market doesn’t seem to be worried about it, either, as the Avalanche’s moneyline odds have moved from -140 to -185 in the time since Bet365 made odds available. Colorado’s implied win probability has jumped around 6.5 percent from 58.3 to 64.9 percent.
Justus Anunnen is expected to start for Colorado. According to Evolving Hockey, Annunen ranks 26th in goals saved above expected (10.57) among goaltenders who have faced at least 500 unblocked shot attempts this season.

Handicapping the Oilers (49-32 SU, 38-43 ATS, 35-43 O/U)

The Oilers first round opponent will be determined based on the results of a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Anaheim Ducks. Los Angeles has some say in the matter, too, but Edmonton does not. If the Kings defeat the Chicago Blackhawks and the Golden Knights lose to the Ducks, Edmonton will play Los Angeles. However, if Vegas wins, or the Kings lose, the Oilers will match up against the Golden Knights, which means Thursday’s game is only as important as the Oilers make it.
The ice was tilted in Edmonton’s favour on Wednesday, but that’s partly due to the fact that Arizona led for the majority of the game thanks to some costly defensive lapses by the Oilers. If those holes are present on Thursday in Colorado, against a seemingly focused Avalanche team, it could spell trouble for Edmonton.
Stuart Skinner is expected to start for the Oilers. It will be his last chance to play until the first game of the playoffs, which isn’t expected to start until Monday.

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Team Betting Trends

  • Colorado has gone 7-3 straight up in its last 10 games against Edmonton dating back to June of 2022 when they last met in the playoffs. The Avalanche also covered the puck line in seven out of the last 10 meetings. 
  • The Avalanche have gone 3-7 straight up in their last 10 games overall, though, which is the same as Edmonton’s record in its last 10 games away from Rogers Place.
  • Colorado is 7-3 to the over in its last 10 games, while Edmonton is 4-6 to the under in its last 10 games.

Player Prop Betting Trends

  • If Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon both play on Thursday, it’ll be just the fourth game in NHL history to see two 130-point players face off against each other. MacKinnon has 51 goals and 138 points, while McDavid has 32 goals and 132 points. 
  • MacKinnon has scored seven goals and nine assists in his last 10 games. He’s sitting at -120 to score a goal on Thursday, while McDavid is priced at +140 to light the lamp.
  • Zach Hyman and Leon Draisaitl are also listed at +140 to score on Thursday as both players have scored just three times in the past 10 games.
  • Jonathan Drouin, who is playing alongside MacKinnon and Rantanen on the top line, and centering the first power play unit, has five goals and five assists in his last 10 games. Drouin is listed at -140 to score a point and +220 to score a goal.
  • Cale Makar has also been hot, with three goals and eight assists in his last 10 games. Makar is listed at -220 to score a point and +300 to score a goal.

Best Bets for Oilersnation

Colorado and Edmonton will both be aiming to begin Thursday’s game with a goal, if possible. Both teams are among the top five in first-period goals scored. However, the Avalanche also find themselves among the bottom five in first-period goals conceded, while the Oilers have been average in preventing goals in the opening frame. Bet on both teams to score first period goals at +150 odds.

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