Kings vs. Oilers prediction, odds for Game1 of NHL playoffs

For the first time in a long while, the Edmonton Oilers enter the postseason on solid footing. We’ve grown accustomed to asking a lot of questions about the make-up of Edmonton over the past few seasons — and rightfully so — but the Oilers seem to have fewer skeptics than ever this spring. 

Kings vs. Oilers odds Game 1

Odds provided by BetMGM

Spread: Kings +1.5 (-145) vs. Oilers -1.5 (+120)

Moneyline: Kings (+155) vs. Oilers (-190)

Total: Over 6 (-120) Under 6 (+100)

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Kings vs. Oilers Game 1 prediction

Of course, those could be famous last words, but the truth is that this Edmonton team has been in terrific form for the better part of three months now. Since making a change behind the bench and bringing in Jay Woodcroft to serve as head coach, the Oilers have gone 26-9-3. That puts them on a 119-point pace over 82 games. To put it in further perspective: The Colorado Avalanche finished the regular season with 119 points. 

The most notable development under Woodcroft has been the play of goaltender Mike Smith. The ageless wonder in Edmonton’s goal has been in sensational form over the second half of the season, posting a .918 save percentage and a +10.6 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) since Jan. 1 (23 games). And it’s no coincidence that Smith’s uptick coincided with the Oilers improving their defensive coverage under Woodcroft.

And while Edmonton’s defense won’t likely ever be a league-leading outfit, they don’t need to be superlative for this team to have success. With Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl firing on all cylinders entering the postseason, the ask for the Oilers’ defense and goaltending is simple: Just provide enough runway so that McDavid can be the difference-maker. 

Edmonton Oilers vs. LA Kings prediction for Game One
Edmonton Oilers
Getty Images

The team has certainly done that so far under Woodcroft, posting a +0.66 goal differential and a +0.3 expected goal differential per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 in its last 38 games. With the game-breaking talent they have, those numbers will absolutely play for the Oilers.

Standing in Edmonton’s way in the first round is perhaps the playoffs most surprising team. The Los Angeles Kings certainly earned their way into the postseason with a 99-point season, but this is a young, flawed team that doesn’t come close to matching the Oilers’ upside. And while the Kings do boast some terrific 5-on-5 metrics, their lack of scoring touch means to have the success they need to see a lot of the puck. That just won’t be the case against Edmonton.

The Oilers can get separation in a hurry and should be able to have success against a pedestrian Kings blueline that should be overmatched. If Edmonton wins this game, it’s likely that it’s by multiple goals, so take the plus-money on Edmonton to cover the -1.5 puckline.

Kings vs. Oilers Game 1 prediction: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 (+125) — FanDuel


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