Avalanche  Oilers (April 9)

Avalanche Oilers (April 9)

Avalanche Oilers Odds

Avalanche Odds -115
Oilers Odds +105
Over / Under 6.5 (-120 / +100)
Time 10 pm ET
TV ESPN +
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Two Western Conference powerhouses face off as the Colorado Avalanche head to Northern Alberta to take on the Edmonton Oilers. It’ll be the second time both team’s square up, as Colorado was victorious in the first meetup back in March.

No one has had a better 2022 than the Avalanche. The boys in the Mile High City are tearing through the league and are a favorite to win the President’s Trophy. In their last 10 games, they’ve gone 8-1-1 including an overtime win against Winnipeg Friday night.

The Oilers are one fire as of late, winning their last six games, and going 7-2-1 in their last 10. After an up and down season, Edmonton went through a coaching change, and it’s made a world of a difference.

Avalanche the Cup Favorites

Taking a look at the depth in Colorado, it is certainly fascinating to watch. The Avs have five players averaging more than a point per game led, by Mikko Rantanen and his 84 points in 67 games. Behind him are Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon, while both Nazem Kadri and captain Gabriel Landeskog are out with injury.

Colorado has one of the top offenses in the league, averaging 3.79 goals per game. The Avs can certainly force play with an expected goals rate of 53.53 (7th), but not as many high danger chances as one might think (16th). Having a man advantage is certainly where they thrive as they score 25.1% on the power play.

The defense took a few hits this season, but a return of Samuel Girard could be on the horizon, which certainly helps. Regardless, the Avs don’t allow many goals (2.74 per game), and do a fine job at preventing high danger chances. The penalty kill is near the league average with only a 78.9% success rate.

Pavel Francouz started in Winnipeg, so expect Darcy Kuemper to get the nod against the high-octane Oilers. Kuemper had a rough start to the year, but has come around to be a top net-minder. He’s putting up exceptional numbers with a .925 SV% and a +21.9 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected). For someone who had horrid numbers in the first months, it shows that Kuemper has been nearly unstoppable for the remaining stretch.

Oilers Riding Roller Coaster

The Oilers have always been known for having a ton of firepower. With two generational superstars in Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid (both with more than 100 points), many believe that Edmonton should be more successful than they are. Behind the two juggernauts, they have Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Darnell Nurse contributing as well.

This season has truly been a roller coaster for the Oilers. At one point, they were among the top offenses, then a losing streak brought them down to Earth, and now they’re making a surge. Edmonton currently averages 3.47 goals per game and an expected goals rate of 51.73. Not only that, but it is among the best at creating high danger chances, and has one of the better power plays, scoring at a 25.7% clip.

Defense really hasn’t been a strength for Edmonton for a long time, and it shows. The Oilers let up an average of 3.17 goals per game and an average amount of high danger chances. When on the penalty kill, they shut down the opposition 77.5% of the time, which is ranked 21st.

Another thing that will continue to hold the Oilers back is their goaltending. Every now and then, they will show up and perform well, but it’s been a problem for years. Forty-year-old Mike Smith has gotten most of the starts since coming back from injury, and I don’t see why he wouldn’t start tonight. He’s been inconsistent all year, and dealing with injuries while posting a .904 SV% and a -1.9 GSAx. Goalies are always hard to predict, but a 40 year old one is near impossible.

Avalanche Oilers Pick

I’m going to expect a few things from tonight’s game: Goals, goals and more goals.

I don’t think the Avalanche will have a problem creating opportunities for themselves with Edmonton’s average defense and questionable goaltending. Even while missing two of their top scorers, they haven’t missed a beat one bit.

For the Oilers, McDavid and Draisaitl always seem to find themselves on the score sheet. I expect at least two goals from Edmonton, given that they’ve scored two or more goals every game since March 7.

I’m picking the over for this matchup.

Pick: Over 6.5 (-110)

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