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Thursday NHL Playoffs Game 2 Betting Odds, Prediction: Oilers vs. Avalanche Preview

Thursday NHL Playoffs Game 2 Betting Odds, Prediction: Oilers vs. Avalanche Preview article feature image

Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kailer Yamamoto and Leon Draisaitl

  • The Avalanche are home favorites against the Oilers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
  • With both teams having questions in net, what's the best way to bet this game that features two elite offenses?
  • Carol Schram breaks down the matchup below and shares her best bet.

Oilers vs. Avalanche Game 2 Odds

Oilers Odds+145
Avalanche Odds-175
Over/Under7 (-135 / +110)
Day | TimeThursday | 8 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The 2022 Western Conference Finals got off to a wild start on Tuesday night. All four goalies saw action as the Colorado Avalanche held off the Edmonton Oilers for an 8-6 home-ice win that had even Wayne Gretzky imploring both clubs to tighten up defensively.

What’s in store for Game 2 on Thursday? Here’s a look at the latest on both teams and your best bet for the game.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers have shown in these playoffs that they can bounce back after Game 1 losses. In the first round against the Kings, goalie Mike Smith’s errant clearing attempt late in the third period ended up costing his team the game.

Edmonton’s opener against Calgary looked quite similar to what fans saw in Denver on Tuesday — a high-octane contest that saw the Oilers come back from a 6-2 deficit to tie the game before the Flames responded to seal a 9-6 victory.

Smith lasted just 6:05 in the opener against Calgary, giving up three goals on 10 shots. On Tuesday in Denver, he let in six goals on 25 shots over the first 26:20 of the game, allowing minus-3.66 Goals Saved Above Expected average in all situations.

In the first two rounds, Smith bounced back impressively, shutting out the Kings in Game 2 and delivering four straight wins against the Flames. He should be back in form for Game 2, although the Colorado offense will be much more difficult to contain than either Los Angeles or Calgary.

On Wednesday, coach Jay Woodcroft stopped short of naming his starter for Game 2 but did praise Smith’s work throughout the playoffs

On the offensive side of the puck, the Oilers did score six goals of their own, and their forward group includes three of the top five scorers in the playoffs to date — Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane. Edmonton only generated 45.22% of the Expected Goals at five-on-five in Game 1, but High-Danger Scoring Chances were quite close (15 for Edmonton to 17 for Colorado). The two sides were even on special teams, both going 1-for-2.

After some time to reflect, the Oilers should take solace that the difference in Game 1 was Cale Makar’s controversial goal late in the first period. The end result was a two-goal swing after coach Jay Woodcroft made an unsuccessful offside challenge, then the Avs scored on the subsequent power play.

These grey-area incidents have a tendency to even out over a seven-game series. Maybe the next debatable call will goes Edmonton’s way?

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Colorado Avalanche

Throughout the playoffs, the Avalanche have demonstrated why they finished first in the Western Conference in the regular season. They’re averaging more than 40 shots per game in the playoffs and are the only team scoring more goals per game than Edmonton (4.64 vs. 4.46). Their power play is also clicking at a phenomenal 35.5%.

They showed impressive killer instinct in Round 2, putting the Blues away handily after starting goaltender Jordan Binnington was injured.

But now, the Avalanche are dealing with a goalie injury of their own. Darcy Kuemper pulled himself midway through the second period on Tuesday after giving up three goals on 16 shots.

On Wednesday, coach Jared Bednar said that Kuemper could return to action for Game 2 after suffering what was called an upper-body injury. However, Bednar also admitted that he didn’t know how long his starter will be out of action.

Kuemper left Game 3 of Colorado’s first-round series against the Nashville Predators after he was struck in the eye by a stick that found its way through the cage of his mask. Backup Pavel Francouz started the clinching Game 4, then Kuemper returned to play the full second-round series against St. Louis.

Kuemper hasn’t been great in these playoffs, with a 2.65 Goals-Against average, .897 save percentage and minus-3.48 Goals Saved Above Expected average in all situations. But with Colorado’s offensive punch, Kuemper hasn’t needed to stand on his head.

Francouz allowed three goals on 21 shots in 37:21 of action against Edmonton in Game 1. In his limited playoff action, he’s at a 3.59 Goals-Against average, .889 save percentage and minus-1.69 Goals Saved Above Expected average.

Colorado is also dealing with a key injury on its blue line. Jack Johnson has teamed up with Josh Manson on the third defensive pairing for the last four games after Sam Girard suffered a broken sternum, which will keep him out for the rest of the playoffs.

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Avalanche vs. Oilers Pick

While Colorado earned its Game 1 win, Edmonton was not out of the game until Gabriel Landeskog shot the puck into the empty net with 22 seconds left in the third period. The Oilers have bounced back before and boast the two top scorers in the playoffs in McDavid and Draisaitl. They should be better prepared to handle what the Avs dish out in Game 2.

The question that remains unanswered is if Edmonton has enough depth in its lineup to counter against a Colorado team that is getting scoring from all four lines, and from its defense.

If you’re feeling bold, there’s great value on the Oilers at +145, and some sportsbooks are offering up to +160.

For a safer bet, consider the over.

Seven of Edmonton’s 13 playoff games so far have gone over seven, and Colorado has gone 6-of-11 to the over. Combined, these two teams are averaging 9.1 goals per game in the playoffs.

Don’t expect another 14-spot on Thursday. But with question marks in both nets and these offenses as powerful as they are, there’s good reason to believe we’ll see another game with more than seven goals scored.

Pick: Over 7 (-135 | Play to -150)

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