Apr 26, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) and center Leon Draisaitl (29) talk prior to a face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
- The Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers will meet in the playoffs for the first time since 1992
- The Oilers are heavy moneyline favorites in the NHL odds to advance to the second round
- Read below for the Oilers vs Kings series odds, picks and prediction
All of the first round NHL playoff series’ are now set and you can bet Wayne Gretzky will be glued to the tube for the Western Conference clash between the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers, two of his former teams. The last time these two sides met in the playoffs, the Oilers knocked out The Great One and the Kings in six games in 1992.
With a squad led by two of the best offensive players in the league in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers have been made heavy favorites against the Kings in the NHL odds.
Most prognosticators forecast a Battle of Alberta in the second round of the NHL playoff bracket, but first things first, let’s dissect the Kings vs Oilers matchup and see what NHL prediction is the best for this series.
Oilers vs Kings Series Odds
|Los Angeles Kings||+185|
Odds as of April 30th at Barstool Sportsbook
Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-seven series go Monday and Wednesday night in Edmonton. The series shifts to California for Game 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday. The NHL operates under a 2-2-1-1-1 format, so if necessary, Games 5 and 7 will be in Edmonton with Los Angeles hosting a possible Game 6.
We have another #StanleyCup Playoffs matchup confirmed! ✅
— NHL (@NHL) April 27, 2022
With moneyline odds of -235 to win the series, the Oilers have an implied win probability of 70.15% to advance to the next round. The Kings have the worst 2022 Stanley Cup odds of any team that made the post season.
Drew Doughty Injury Hurts Kings’ Series Odds
While the Kings don’t have a ton of injuries to worry about, the one guy who won’t be playing for them in the playoffs is perhaps their most important player. Defenseman Drew Doughty is out for the season after wrist surgery.
Los Angeles would be in for a tough battle against Edmonton even with their best defenseman in the lineup, but without him, the odds are stacked against them to an even greater degree. Even if they were to score a major upset here, Doughty’s injury is one of the reasons they’re at the bottom of the Western Conference odds.
Defenseman Drew Doughty underwent successful wrist surgery today & will not return this season.
He is expected to make a full recovery for next season. pic.twitter.com/vNtgSZ1fS9
— x – LA Kings (@LAKings) April 11, 2022
Sean Walker, a mainstay in the top six on the Kings blue line the last two years, is also out for the year with a torn ACL. Relatively unknown names such as Sean Durzi, Mikey Anderson and Matt Roy have been playing the heaviest minutes on defense in Doughty’s absence.
That’s a frightening prospect when you have McDavid and Draisaitl barreling down on you. Without the former Norris Trophy winner, most pundits give Los Angeles very little chance.
Can Oilers Erase Terrible Playoff Memories?
There’s no doubt that Edmonton should be heavy favorites in this series, but all it will take is a Kings win in Game 1 to have Oilers Nation pushing the panic alarm. How will the team deal with it if that happens?
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 30, 2022
This may come across as ludicrous, but it’s a terrifying fact for Oilers fans, they have one playoff victory in the last four years. Not one playoff series win, no. That’s one single game won in the playoffs in the last four seasons, and that was in the qualifying round against the Blackhawks a couple years ago.
While the McDavid/Draisaitl era has been filled with individual awards, playoff success has been barren. The Oilers captain has another Art Ross to add to his collection and is one of the top contenders in the Hart Trophy odds, but he’ll need to advance in the post season to eventually be regarded as one of the all time greats.
Edmonton did get the better of the Kings in their head-to-head matchups this season.
Kings vs Oilers Head-to-Head Stats
|44-27-11||NHL Regular Season Record||49-27-6|
|2.9 (20th)||Goals For/GP||3.5 (7th)|
|2.8 (10th)||Goals Against/GP||3.1 (18th)|
|16.1% (27th)||Power Play||26% (3rd)|
|76.7% (22nd)||Penalty Kill||79.4% (17th)|
Several statistics are in the Oilers favor. Another thing to consider is the Oilers terrific play in the last month of the season. The Oil had an .821 points percentage in the month of April, the best in the entire league.
Oilers vs Kings Series Pick & Prediction
It may be the most lopsided first round playoff matchup, but there still are a few factors that can work against the Oilers. We mentioned that Doughty is out for the Kings, but the Oilers number one defenseman, Darnell Nurse missed the last four games of the regular season and is doubtful to start this series.
Also, while Edmonton has the explosive duo of McDavid and Draisaitl, don’t sleep on the fact that LA has two of the best defensive centers in the league in Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault. The latter shut down Auston Matthews in the Habs first round playoff upset of the Leafs last season.
Still, there are too many factors for the Kings to overcome here. For Los Angeles to win this series, Jonathan Quick will have to turn back the clock a decade and vastly outplay Mike Smith, but the 40-year old Smith has been playing his best hockey in the last month.
It’s finally time for Edmonton to vanquish the ghosts of playoffs past so take them at -235 in the Kings vs Oilers odds at Barstool Sportsbook.
Pick: Edmonton Oilers Moneyline (-235)
George has had a lifelong love affair with sports and studying sports statistics since he was a kid. He graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and has worked in the sports & media industry ever since in various roles from writer to producer.