NHL Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks: Our 3 Best Bets for Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche, Including Plays on Leon Draisaitl, Game 2 Over/Under (June 2)
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images. Pictured: Leon Draisaitl
NHL betting analyst Nicholas Martin breaks down his three favorite plays ahead of Thursday’s Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals showdown between the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche.
So, let’s see where we can find some betting value ahead of this latest meeting via our top selections.
Edmonton Oilers — Team Total Over 3.5 (+140)
The Oilers have done a tremendous job of generating high-quality looks all playoffs long, and in turn, have managed a ridiculous average of 4.46 goals per game.
Edmonton’s expected goals per 60 minutes of 3.81 suggests it is overachieving. However, for this team to score more than expected is far from surprising, as led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have led the Oilers at creating the kind of plays that are poorly reflected in xG data.
According to the Moneypuck xG model, McDavid’s Game 1 tally linked above has a 3.7% chance of being a goal, based on a large sample of shots from that location.
However, the play coming through the seam from Draisaitl obviously greatly changes the actual chances of McDavid finding the back of the net on this shot.
On top of the fact that no goaltender alive has a chance on some of these opportunities Edmonton has consistently generated all playoff long, Pavel Francouz will draw in and isn’t an elite option by any means.
Edmonton could certainly win this game. And considering the prices, the Oilers might be the side holding more value. Yet, most of their wins against this potent Colorado group will require clearing 3.5 goals. Therefore, I’d rather play Edmonton’s team total at +140 odds than back an Edmonton win at +155, considering the possibility they score four goals and lose.
Leon Draisaitl — Over 1.5 Points (+110)
A massive part of the reason Edmonton should manage a strong offensive output is the play of Leon Draisaitl, who has been in unbelievable form over the team’s run to the conference finals.
Draisaitl has posted 28 points in 13 playoff contests, and has cashed this line in eight of those games, including six in a row entering tonight’s affair. The Oilers will always be leaning on him and McDavid as much as possible, and as they should because that’s clearly Edmonton’s greatest chance to get by this very deep Avalanche group.
Mikko Rantanen — Over 1.5 Points (+175)
Entering Game 1, I outlined why I believe Colorado’s second unit would likely manage a big offensive output in this series. And we saw Nazem Kadri and Rantanen combine for two goals and an assist in that contest.
Obviously, most of the top Avalanche players had big nights with the team’s eight-goal output. I don’t think we see that again, but there’s good reasoning as to why Rantanen’s unit in particular should continue to terrorize the Oilers.
In the opener, the Avalanche shuffled Arturri Lehkonen into the spot of Val Nichushkin on the second line, alongside Nazem Kadri and Rantanen, and the trio controlled play to a ridiculous xG rate.
Calgary’s second unit dominated Edmonton last series, and there’s some logical causation, as if these units are going to spend more time playing the soft bottom four defenders, the chances are going to continue to pile up.
Rantanen also plays big minutes on the Avalanche’s top power-play unit, which should remain productive moving forward in this series.
Picking between any of the props offered on Rantanen, Kadri or Lehkonen seems really reasonable, but I feel confident with Rantanen in particular because he was so notably dominant in the first contest of this series.