NHL Betting Preview (May 23): Oilers vs. Stars Game 1 Odds

Oilers Leon Draisaitl against Dallas Stars
Photo credit:Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew MacNeil
29 days ago
Edmonton and Dallas will meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 21 years. The Oilers and Stars faced off six times between 1997 and 2003, with Edmonton winning the initial series and Dallas advancing in all subsequent matchups. This marks the first time the two teams will compete against each other in the Western Conference Final. In this article, we’ll look at the odds and trends that make this matchup intriguing from a betting perspective.

Oilers vs. Stars Game 1 Odds

  • Edmonton Oilers Moneyline Odds: +110
  • Dallas Stars Moneyline Odds: -130
  • Puck Line Odds: Oilers +1.5 (-240), Stars -1.5 (+195)
  • Game Total: 6 goals (over -110, under -110)
All odds courtesy of Bet365.

Oilers vs. Stars Series Odds

Edmonton is an underdog for the first time this postseason. The Oilers are listed as a +115 series underdog, while the Stars are priced at -135. The Oilers currently have the third-best odds (+240) to win the Stanley Cup. Stars’ goaltender Jake Oettinger is the current favourite (5/1) to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs, while Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid is listed at 6/1 odds.
Check out Daily Faceoff to get updates regarding the line combinations and goaltenders for Game 1.

Handicapping the Oilers (57-37 SU, 41-53 ATS, 42-48 O/U)

Edmonton defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games before beating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. However, the Oilers were big favourites in rounds one and two, and that’s not the case heading into the Western Conference final.
The Oilers finished the regular season with the best even-strength expected goals percentage in the league, according to Evolving Hockey. They also finished among the top teams in every offensive category, but they have not been as strong during even strength play in the postseason. In fact, the Oilers expected goal share (ES) dropped from 57 percent in the regular season to 50.5 percent in the playoffs.
This is mainly due to the fact that the Oilers haven’t generated as many quality looks during even strength play in the postseason. Edmonton generated roughly 3.4 expected goals per 60 minutes (ES) in the regular season, but it has created just 2.4 expected goals on a per-60 minute basis through 12 playoff games so far.
In terms of preventing goals, Edmonton has been solid all season long, and that has mostly been the case in the playoffs. More importantly, though, goaltender Stuart Skinner looked strong in goal in Games 6 and 7 versus Vancouver after spending Games 3 and 4 on the bench. Skinner is likely going to face a lot more rubber than he did against Los Angeles or Vancouver, though.

Handicapping the Stars (60-35 SU, 41-54 ATS, 47-47 O/U)

Led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers possess more starpower than Dallas, but the Stars are a deeper team overall. Edmonton finished fourth in even strength goals per 60 minutes during the regular season, while the Stars finished fourth despite not generating as many shots per game as the Oilers did.
With that said, forward Roope Hintz was the Stars’ top scorer in the regular season, and he will not be available for Game 1 against the Oilers. Hintz has been out since being injured in Game 4 of the Stars’ second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche. Of course, Dallas still has plenty of offensive weapons, like Jason Robertson, Matt Duchene, and Wyatt Johnston. But, nobody’s been more valuable to the Stars than defenseman Miro Heiskanen.
Heiskanen has averaged 28 minutes of ice time per game in the playoffs and currently leads the Stars in scoring with 13 points in 13 games. No player has been on the ice more in the playoffs than the 24-year-old, who is a popular pick to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, even if oddsmakers don’t see it that way. He’s got a good supporting cast, too, with a good mix between veterans and younger players, which is why the Stars rank second in the playoffs in expected goals against, per Evolving Hockey.
Dallas has an edge in goal, too, as Jake Oettinger is considered one of the best young goaltenders in the NHL. Then again, while Oettinger has shown that he’s got a high ceiling, he’s been somewhat inconsistent throughout the season and that has also been the case in the playoffs. He’s provided the Stars with more good performances than bad ones, but his impact might be a bit overstated at this point.


Team Betting Trends

  • Dallas and Edmonton have split the last 10 meetings, straight up, and each has covered the puck line five times. The Stars went 2-1 against the Oilers in the regular season.
  • The Oilers are 4-2 straight up as the road team this postseason, while the Stars have gone 3-4 straight up as the home team in the playoffs.
  • Six out of the last 10 meetings between the Stars and Oilers have gone over the total. So far in the playoffs, scoring has been much higher in Games 1-5 (6.1 goals on average) than it’s been in Games 6-7 (3.9 goals on average).

Player Prop Betting Trends

  • Stars’ forward Wyatt Johnston has scored seven goals in 13 playoff games, and he leads the team in shots on goal with 45. That’s six more than the next-best player. Johnston has registered three or more shots on goal in eight games so far this postseason, which is why his shots on goal prop is listed at 2.5, over -160.
  • Leon Draisaitl has registered at least one point in every game this postseason, but the Oilers’ forward has recorded nine multi-point games. Draisaitl is listed at -400 to register one point, and +120 to register at least two.
  • Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid started off hot, registering 12 points in the first round, but he wasn’t as impactful in round two. McDavid did have two multi-point games in the series, but he’s gone pointless in three out of the last five games.

Best Bets for Oilersnation

Edmonton did a fantastic job of limiting Vancouver’s shot attempts in round two, particularly when Skinner was between the pipes. Skinner faced 24 shots or fewer in all five games he played against the Canucks. However, he faced a lot more rubber in round one against Los Angeles, and that’s likely going to be the case in this series, as Dallas registered 31.55 shots per game in the regular season. Skinner’s save prop is set at 24.5 (over -130) and if the Stars manage 30-plus shots on goal, that would mean Skinner could still allow five goals and cash the ticket. Bet on Skinner to make at least 25 saves (over 24.5 saves) at -130 odds.


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