Oilers vs. Avalanche NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect a High-Scoring Affair in Denver (March 21)
Photo by Zak Krill/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nazem Kadri #91 of the Colorado Avalanche
- The Avalanche host the Oilers as home favorites.
- Both offenses have been surging lately, but is the total too inflated at 6.5?
- Nick Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Oilers vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Oilers offense stayed red hot Saturday with a 6-3 victory over the Devils and will head to Denver looking for a sixth consecutive victory. The Oilers will face a tall task against the league-leading Avalanche who have been utterly dominant on home ice with a 24-3-3 record this season.
Will we see fireworks Monday between two offensive juggernauts?
Oilers Offense Surging Under Woodcroft
The Oilers enter this one in the midst of an utterly dominant run of play on offense. Edmonton has scored 5.4 goals for per game over the last five games, and as you might expect, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have led the way.
Edmonton holds a league leading 4.58 Expected Goals For per 60 rate over that span, so it’s very reasonable to expect the high level of offensive production to continue. However, it is worth noting they faced some poor defensive teams over that run.
However, the Oilers have played to a middling 3.13 Expected Goals Against per 60 rate over that same span, so the success has mainly been driven by the amount of chances for generated.
Altogether Edmonton has fallen into more of an up tempo style under new coach Jay Woodcroft. However, it is a style that certainly appears to be a winning style of hockey.
The netminding duo continues to be the clear question mark for Edmonton, and it is unclear which of Mike Smith or Mikko Koskinen will get this start tomorrow night.
Smith has played to a -5.1 Goals Saved Above Expected rating with an .895 Save Percentage, while Koskinen has played to a -5.2 GSAx with a .904 Save Percentage. I would argue Koskinen has looked far better than Smith, which is something worth noting from a handicapping perspective.
Avalanche Led by High-Flying Offense
After losing four of five games, the Avs saw captain Gabriel Landeskog and elite defenseman Samuel Girard join the injury report.
Nonetheless, the response from Colorado has been very positive, as it has won each of its last three games. The Avs have done so in dominant fashion too, with a +8 Goal Differential and a 57.22 Expected Goals Rate.
Colorado remains in the league’s top quarter this month with regards to chances generated, and even short the services of Landeskog and Girard, the Avs hold so much talent capable of finishing and creating offense.
The last few games have seen the Avs play somewhat of a lower event brand of hockey, but that has mainly been game-script dependent if anything. It’s still clear this roster will be led by its dominant ability to create chances for as Colorado loves to push the pace. This should make for a great matchup Monday, as both of these teams feature so many capable scorers.
Darcy Kuemper should get the start in goal, and he has been strong in his debut season with the Avs’ stopping .916% of shots faced this season with a 15.12 GSAx.
Oilers vs. Avalanche Pick
As you would expect, Colorado has found some better form after a small lull, and the Avs’ strong play offensively should continue here.
Edmonton is by no means a dominant defensive team, but the greater concern is the shaky goaltending duo of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen.
Altogether, it’s hard for me to imagine Edmonton preventing this wildly talented Avalanche unit from posting another big offensive night in Denver.
The Avalanche have played fewer high-event games of late, but I do not expect that to continue here. Expect Colorado to finish some of the quality looks they will inevitably generate on Smith/Koskinen as the Avalanche force the Oilers to produce some offense themselves.
This is a spot where it’s easy to imagine both sides reaching three or more, and at -120 I see value backing this one to get over 6.5 goals. I would play the over at 6.5 down to -140.
Pick: Over 6.5 -120 (Play to -140)