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NHL Betting Preview (April 22): Kings vs. Oilers Game 1 Odds

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew MacNeil
12 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers will play the Los Angeles Kings  in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third season in a row. This article breaks down the odds and trends that make this matchup so interesting.

Kings vs. Oilers Odds

  • Los Angeles Kings Moneyline Odds: -170
  • Edmonton Oilers Moneyline Odds: +145
  • Puck Line Odds: Kings +1.5 (+150), Oilers -1.5 (-180)
  • Game Total: 6 goals (over +100, under -120)
All odds courtesy of Bet365.

Last Matchup

In their most recent matchup, the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 at Rogers Place. Connor McDavid led the Oilers with a goal and two assists, while. Evan Bouchard also had a goal and an assist. Stuart Skinner made 32 saves in the win. Arthur Kaliyev scored the lone goal for the Kings late in the third period before Edmonton secured the win with an empty-net goal. The Oilers won the season series versus the Kings, going 2-1-1.
Check out Daily Faceoff to get updates regarding the line combinations and goaltenders for Game 1.

Handicapping the Kings (44-38 SU, 38-44 ATS, 31-48 OU)

The Oilers were a -230 series favourite when they defeated the Kings (+185) in seven games during the 2021-22 season. Last season, Edmonton closed as a -280 series favourite against Los Angeles (+240) in six games. However, this season, the Oilers are a -210 series favourite, while the Kings are priced at +175. 
Therefore, according to the odds, this is the strongest version of the Los Angeles Kings that the Oilers have faced in the playoffs. According to Evolving Hockey, Los Angeles was the fourth-best team at even strength based on expected goals, placing them in the top five alongside Edmonton, Carolina, Dallas, and Florida. 
Now, no one is claiming that the Kings are as strong as any of those teams, including the Oilers. Los Angeles lacks the scoring prowess and talent that those teams possess. Nevertheless, the Kings might be better defensively than some contenders, as they finished fifth in goals against per 60 minutes at even strength thanks to some surprisingly solid goaltending from Cam Talbot and David Rittich.
Los Angeles fumbled series leads in 2022 and 2023, but that should serve as a reminder that Edmonton had to play from behind. The Kings pushed The Oilers to the brink of elimination in 2022 before Edmonton won the next two games, and they almost took a 3-1 series lead last season before blowing Game 4.

Handicapping the Oilers (49-33 SU, 38-44 ATS, 35-44 O/U)

The Oilers are -170 on the moneyline, which implies they have a 63 percent chance of winning the game. That leaves a lot of room for an upset, and Los Angeles has taken Game 1 in each of the last two times they met the Oilers in the playoffs. Edmonton was great at home this season, but they were a -188 favourite on average, so this game should be tougher than a typical home game.
Not to mention, Edmonton is 1-8 in Game 1s since the 2016-17 season, and they are 0-7 in Game 1s since 2020. Obviously, this is an issue the Oilers will need to address if they are to make a deep playoff run. Edmonton has shown that they can win a series from behind on numerous occasions, but poor starts are one of the reasons that they haven’t been able to go all the way.
Offensively, the Kings seem like no match for the Oilers. Edmonton finished fourth in goals per 60 minutes while the Kings finished 18th. There’s only about 0.5 goals separating the two teams, and that doesn’t always show itself in a small sample. The Oilers defend well, and Stuart Skinner has what it takes to be the best goaltender in the series, but the Kings are good without the puck, too. Edmonton finished 10th in goals against, and sixth in expected goals against, on a per-60 minute basis this season. Los Angeles finished fifth in both categories.

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Team Betting Trends

  • In the head-to-head between these two teams, Edmonton is 7-3 straight up in the last 10 games, including playoffs, but they are just 5-5 against the puck line.
  • Los Angeles went 9-1 at home to finish the season, but the Kings won just four out of their final 10 road games and they are 3-7 straight up in their last 10 trips to Rogers Place. The Oilers, meanwhile, are 7-3 in their last 10 home games and they went 6-4 against the puck line.
  • Edmonton is 6-4 to the under in its last 10 games as the favourite, while Los Angeles is 6-3-1 to the under in its last 10 games as the underdog. Both teams trended toward the under this season.

Player Prop Betting Trends

  • Connor McDavid has seven goals and 17 assists in 13 career playoff games against the Kings. The Oilers’ captain is listed at +160 to score a goal in Game 1. Meanwhile, Leon Draisaitl has 12 goals and eight assists in 13 career playoff games against Los Angeles. Draisaitl is listed at +130 to score a goal in the series opener.
  • Adrian Kempe has six goals and six assists in his last 10 games. Kempe also leads the Kings with seven goals and seven assists in 13 career playoff games versus Edmonton. Kempe is listed at +200 to score an anytime goal in Game 1.
  • Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault are known for their defensive prowess, but in 13 career playoff games against the Oilers, Kopitar has three goals and eight assists, while Danault has five goals and five assists. Kopitar and Danault are priced at +275 and +450, respectively, to score a goal in Game 1.

Best Bets for Oilersnation

One of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, or Zach Hyman will likely lead the series in scoring, but defenseman Evan Bouchard will be in the mix, too. Bouchard finished the 2023 playoffs just three points behind McDavid, with almost identical ice time, and the 24-year-old is going to get plenty of opportunities to contribute in this series. Bet on Bouchard to finish with the most points in the series at +2000 odds.

GAME DAY ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BET365

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