- The Avalanche is a -240 favorite to defeat the Oilers in the NHL Western Conference Finals
- Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are co-playoff scoring leaders with 26 points a piece
- Colorado is -179 to win Game 1 at home and the over/under is set at a sky-high 7 goals
The NHL Western Conference Final is a dream matchup between two of the league’s biggest superstars – the Oilers’ Connor McDavid and the Avs’ Nathan MacKinnon. Colorado aims for its first Stanley Cup appearance since winning the championship in 2001 while Edmonton hopes to return to the finals for the first time since its 2006 loss.
Let’s check the series prices before the puck drops on Tuesday night and make our Game 1 picks. Here’s also where you can find the top betting sites for NHL hockey in 2022 and smart wagering tips in our 2022 Stanley Cup betting guide.
Western Conference Finals
Avalanche vs Oilers
Colorado is a -240 favorite to advance to the Stanley Cup Final while Edmonton sits at +200. The Avalanche finished with 15 more points than the Oilers this year, winning two-of-three regular-season meetings, but that’s all out the window now.
After setting a new career-high with 123 points, Connor McDavid has hit a new gear in the postseason with 26 points through 12 games. That would lead all playoff scorers if it wasn’t for his teammate Leon Draisaitl. The big German has the exact same stat line (seven goals, 19 assists) after setting a Stanley Cup record with five consecutive three-point or more games versus the Flames.
Connor McDavid = the next ‘Great One’? 👀 pic.twitter.com/IKsLPWOVlz
— theScore (@theScore) May 22, 2022
In addition to the Hart Trophy duo, Edmonton boasts the playoff’s leading goal scorer Evander Kane (12) and Zach Hyman, who scored in all five games against Calgary. Yet, almost everyone would agree that Colorado is the far deeper team.
Norris Trophy finalist Cale Makar (three goals, 10 assists), captain Gabriel Landeskog (six goals, five goals) and Nazem Kadri (five goals) all add firepower behind MacKinnon. And that doesn’t even include the Avs top regular-season point-getter Mikko Rantanen
NHL Playoff Games- Tuesday, May 31
Game 1 in Denver
As you might expect, the Avalanche are also heavy favorites (-179) to take Game 1 on home ice on Tuesday night. Colorado struck first in their two previous playoff series matchups while Edmonton dug 0-1 holes for themselves against both Los Angeles and Calgary before prevailing.
Goaltending will no doubt be a massive factor throughout the series. Edmonton needs Mike Smith (2.70 goals-against average, .927 save percentage) to outplay Darcy Kuemper (2.44 GAA, .904 Sv%). Meanwhile, the Avalanche’s blueliners must keep scoring at elite levels after tallying 40 points combined through the first two rounds.
“If we’re going to win, we need everybody.” — #GoAvsGo center Nathan MacKinnon after Darren Helm’s Game 6 magic
via @MikeChambers https://t.co/kIsgYqHT1i
— Denver Post – Avs (@avsnews) May 29, 2022
McDavid vs. MacKinnon
McDavid’s career mark of 1.45 points per postseason game puts him third all-time behind Gretzky (1.84) and Lemieux (1.61), but MacKinnon isn’t all that far behind at 1.37. The Nova Scotia native has eight goals and 13 points in 10 playoff contests while playing a hard two-way style that will be needed to shutdown an explosive Oilers attack that’s averaging a playoff-best 4.33 goals-for per game.
Another fascinating wrinkle in the McDavid vs. MacKinnon matchup is each player’s lack of postseason success. Before this year, the Oilers superstar had advanced beyond the first round just once since entering the league in 2015, while the Avs center has lost in the second round in each of the past three seasons.
With legacies on the line, we like MacKinnon and the Avalanche to win Game 1 (-179) and the series (-240) – but we can’t argue with backing McDavid and Draisaitl at +200 either.
Game 1 prediction: Avalanche 5, Edmonton 3
Series prediction: Colorado in seven games
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: