NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Oilers vs Avalanche (Thursday, April 18)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Oilers vs Avalanche (Thursday, April 18) article feature image

Oilers vs. Avalanche Odds

Thursday, April 18
9:30 p.m. ET
Oilers Odds+120
Avalanche Odds-140
Over / Under
-120 / +100
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, April 18 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

The Oilers are on the back end of a back-to-back after losing to the Arizona Coyotes in the final game in Coyotes' history. They missed out on a few players due to rest, and it wouldn’t shock me if more players rest up for the playoffs.

Colorado is going through some troubling times at the worst time. The Avalanche are 2-4-1 in their last 10 games including two straight losses to Winnipeg and Vegas. The Avs will be the three-seed in the Central Division, so this game won’t amount to much in this final game of the season.

Edmonton Oilers

I won’t be surprised to see the Oilers rolling out a young lineup due to the low stakes of this matchup. Both Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci were out last night, so I’d expect the same for tonight. Same with Evander Kane. Connor McDavid just broke 100 assists for the first time since Wayne Gretzky, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he rested for tonight as well.

Edmonton’s 5-on-5 play has been dynamite all month. It’s ranked third in expected goals with a 58.23 xGF%, and eighth defensively with a 2.75 xGA/60.

What’s surprising is that the Oilers’ power play hasn’t clicked like they usually do. In the past 10 games, they’ve scored at a 17.9% clip, but the penalty kill has done fine at 80%.

With Cal Pickard starting last night, I expect Stuart Skinner to take the crease tonight. Skinner has drastically improved over the course of this season, especially as of late. In his past five starts, he’s played to a .917 SV% and over the season, has a 4.4 goals saved above expected (GSAx).

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Colorado Avalanche

As per usual, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen lead the way in scoring for the Avalanche. They’ve each registered 100 point campaigns in consecutive seasons, and defenseman Cale Makar posted a point per game season as well. It’ll be interesting if the “Big 3” plays though.

April has been an ugly month for the Avalanche, especially 5-on-5. They’re at a 26th ranked 43.25 xGF%, and a fourth worst 3.9 xGA/60. On the bright side, the power play has fared very well over the past 10 games, scoring at a 21.4% clip.

The difference is, the penalty kill has suffered at 69%.

I would assume that coach Jared Bednar would turn to youngster Justus Annunen in the final game of the season. Annunen has performed really well in 11 starts with a .925 SV% and an 8.2 GSAx.

Oilers vs. Avalanche

Betting Pick & Prediction

Tonight’s game is really a crap shoot. Both the Oilers and Avalanche have solidified their playoff positioning, so in reality, this is the same as an exhibition. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both teams recall their young guys as well.

Because of that, we’re heading into a gray area betting wise. While Edmonton has been the better team systematically in April, the insert of young players could go either way. Will McDavid and Leon Draisaitl play? What about Zach Hyman? Those are the questions that will give us answers heading closer to puck drop.

With that being said, the drop off Colorado has had this month is alarming. I expect the Avalanche to pick it back up during the playoffs, but I’m not encouraged by their overall play.

Either way, the Avs seem to be the favorite here. Edmonton’s coming off a travel day, and Colorado is fully rested. It seems like the perfect storm for a Colorado win, and I’ll be backing the Avalanche tonight.

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