Top NHL Picks and Predictions Today (Best Bets for Oilers vs. Avalanche Game 1)

The Avalanche and Oilers will face-off in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
The Avalanche and Oilers will face-off in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

The Western Conference Final between the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche is set to begin on Tuesday night.

A loss in the final game of the previous round brings my NHL Playoff record down to 34-35-1 (-0.3 units). The good news is, that round is behind us. Fresh round, fresh outlook.

Let's dive into my best bet for tonight, as well as a couple of prop bets to potentially sprinkle on. The odds for my best bet are via WynnBET Sportsbook. The odds for the props are consensus odds.

Best NHL Bets for Oilers vs. Avalanche Game 1

  • Avalanche -1.5 (+127)
  • Darcy Kuemper UNDER 29.5 Saves (-114)
  • Nazem Kadri Anytime Goal +180

Avalanche -1.5 (+127) vs. Oilers

As exciting as this series will be, it's the Avs to lose.

The Avalanche had holes in their defense in the regular season, but they've locked things down in the playoffs. No team is averaging fewer high danger scoring chances allowed during 5-on-5 play than Colorado in the playoffs. Their expect goals against in 5-on-5 play is just 1.91 per 60 minutes. They've also only allowed 8.08 high danger scoring chances per game, which is a huge improvement from their regular season numbers.

The Oilers have the best hockey player on the planet in Connor McDavid, but their lack of defense and depth is going to cost them against the Stanley Cup favorites.

I think the Avs handle the Oilers with ease in the opening game of the series.

Darcy Kuemper UNDER 29.5 Saves (-114)

The Colorado Avalanche are allowing the fewest shots per game so far in the NHL Playoffs. Teams are only averaging 26.12 shots against them pet 60 minutes, so there's some significant value in taking Kuemper's UNDER 29.5 saves tonight.

Colorado's defense has been playing its best hockey of the season since starting the playoffs. With the Oilers coming off an emotional Battle of Alberta, I think they're struggle to reach over 30 shots tonight.

Nazem Kadri Anytime Goal +180

Nazem Kadri has been arguably one of the most important pieces to the Avs' playoff run. He has five goals in the postseason. He's also going to play a pivotal role in this series with him leading the second line against the Oilers. The top line, featuring Nathan MacKinnon, will be matched up against one of the top lines in the NHL which includes Connor McDavid. Kadri, being on the second line, will be able to attack the Oilers lack of depth.

You can track Iain's bets on Betstamp here.