Kings vs Oilers Odds, Game 1 Prediction | NHL Betting Preview (Monday, April 17)

Kings vs Oilers Odds, Game 1 Prediction | NHL Betting Preview (Monday, April 17) article feature image

Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Leon Draisaitl.

  • The Edmonton Oilers host the Los Angeles Kings in a rematch from last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
  • The Kings and Oilers split their regular-season series 2-2, so another tightly contested affair could be in order.
  • Continue reading for our Kings vs. Oilers Game 1 preview and prediction.

Kings vs. Oilers Game 1 Odds

Kings Odds+155
Oilers Odds-188
Over/Under6.5 (-108 / -112)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

As the surging Edmonton Oilers face arguably their highest playoff expectations in the Connor McDavid era, their road to the postseason will begin in familiar fashion on Monday.

For the second straight year, the Oilers will have home-ice advantage against the Los Angeles Kings in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

This year's scene is virtually identical to last season. Once again, the two teams finished five points apart in the Pacific Division, leading to a 2-vs-3 matchup. Last season, the Oilers prevailed in a tough seven-game series. Will this year's outcome turn out the same?

Here's a look at the latest from both teams, and your best bet for Kings vs. Oilers Game 1.

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Los Angeles Kings

In his fourth year at the helm of the Kings, coach Todd McLellan guided his team to a five-point improvement in the standings. L.A. scored 39 more goals than last year, boasted five players with at least 20 goals and saw a major improvement in its power play.

While the goals-against total was also up, that changed as the season wore on. Once Joonas Korpisalo and Pheonix Copley locked in as the tandem at the trade deadline, the Kings allowed an average of just 2.2 goals per game, which was second in the league.

In other good news: After Norris Trophy-winning Drew Doughty missed last year's series due to injury, he's back at full health. His veteran savvy and Stanley Cup experience provides a major boost.

The Kings also have a couple of question marks health-wise — although at this time of year it's difficult to know if players are seriously injured or if teams are just being cagey. Kevin Fiala, who helped breathe life into Los Angeles' offense, suffered a lower-body injury that caused him to miss six games in late March. Then he came back to play three of the next four, logging a regular workload and tallying four points. Fiala then sat out the last six games of the year and didn't practice with the Kings on Saturday, so his status remains uncertain.

The situation is similar with Gabriel Vilardi, who missed the last nine games of the season with an upper-body issue. He reportedly skated before Saturday's practice.

McLellan also declined to name his starting goaltender for Game 1, but in the case of the Kings, that's not a huge issue. Both Korpisalo and Copley have been steady and should be up for the task.

Edmonton Oilers

Hockey's best offensive player has set yet another new standard. Connor McDavid added 20 more goals and 30 more points to his league-leading totals from last season, capturing his fifth Art Ross Trophy with 153 points and his first Rocket Richard with 64 goals — the most since Alex Ovechkin put up 65 in 2008. Leon Draisaitl was right behind him, adding 18 points to get to 128, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins beat his personal best by 35 points when he cracked the century mark at 104.

But since the trade deadline, the Oilers have shown they don't need to rely on their high-octane offense to win games. Mattias Ekholm has proven to be exactly the shutdown defenseman they've needed, Stuart Skinner has been steady and consistent in net and their 17-2-1 record since the deadline has come with a respectable 2.70 goals against per game, as well as 4.40 goals scored.

The Oilers now boast a better-balanced roster than they've ever had in the McDavid era — and they're healthy.

While Edmonton's power play has been lethal all season and finished with a success rate of 29.8%, it was relatively ineffective against the Kings, going just 2-for-13 over four games. The good news for Oilers fans is that both those games came in the last meeting of the season, a 3-1 road win on April 4.

Kings vs. Oilers Pick

This year's season series between Los Angeles and Edmonton was split 2-2. The Kings outscored the Oilers 9-4 in winning the first two games, but they were shut down in a pair of late-season meetings, losing 2-0 on March 30 and 3-1 on April 4.

Those results are more indicative of where both sides are sitting as the playoffs begin. The Kings are missing a little offensive firepower due to injuries and the Oilers are more than capable of playing shutdown hockey.

Margins will likely be tight as both teams step into the series with some caution. At -188, there isn't much value in picking the Oilers for a home-ice win in Game 1, but an over/under of 6.5 offers a tempting betting opportunity.

Look for the goalies to shine in Game 1 — bet the total accordingly.

Pick: Under 6.5 (-112 | Play to -120)

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