- The Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche will contest the Western Conference Finals in the National Hockey League (NHL).
- The winner of the Oilers vs. Avs series will face the Eastern Conference champion in the Stanley Cup Finals.
- The series begins on Tuesday, May 31 at Denver’s Ball Arena.
The National Hockey League playoffs are always extremely competitive and highly entertaining. In many sports, first round matchups are mismatches. Not in the NHL–they give us epic encounters like this year’s first round war between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. With this in mind, I can’t recall a more hotly anticipated Stanley Cup playoff series than the forthcoming Western Conference Finals matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche.
In a previous article, we looked at the statistical aspects of the matchup–though you don’t need to know much more than ‘McJesus vs. MacKinnon’. These aren’t just (arguably) the two best players in the game today, but possibly two of the best players of this generation. Actually, you’d have to throw Toronto’s Auston Matthews into that mix as well. Both teams are insanely potent on offense, sometimes marginal on defense and with little doubt the two best teams in the Western Conference. The Oilers will be looking for their first Stanley Cup since the Wayne Gretzky era–they won one immediately after #99 left for Los Angeles but the rest of the team was still intact. Colorado will be going for their third Stanley Cup and first in over 20 years (they last won in 2001).
Making this matchup even better–one of the teams is from the new epicenter of American sports betting. That would be Colorado and that might have something do with why in what looks to be a very even matchup the Avs are a decided favorite to win the series. Here’s the odds report for both the series and Game 1:
NHL WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS SERIES ODDS
As noted above, Colorado is the favorite to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. This might have something to do with their presence in a major betting market along with home ice advantage. Prices on Colorado to win the series are right around -250 at most books with a few outliers here and there. The best price at the time of this writing among the sportsbooks we checked was at FoxBet where the Avs are -227 to win the series. They’re -240 at FanDuel, BetWildwood, BetFred, PlayUp, -244 at Bet99 and -245 at BetOnline. The highest prices can be found at PointsBet and CoolBet (-270) along with Circa (-271). Note that PointsBet and Circa both have a significant presence in the Colorado market, though CoolBet is primarily a Canadian facing book.
Takeback on Edmonton is typically in the +200 to +210 range. Not surprisingly, Circa has the best price on the Oilers at +227 which makes sense given they’ve got the highest price on Colorado. In fact, they’re the only shop with a takeback on Edmonton in excess of +210. There’s several places with prices under +200: FanDuel (+195), Wildwood (+185), FoxBet (+195), PlayUp (+190), Tipico (+190) and Bet99 (+190).
NHL WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME ONE ODDS
Colorado is favored in Game 1 with a range of -170 to -185 or thereabouts. In excess of -185: Wildwood (-190), PointsBet (-186), TwinSpires (-186), Barstool Sportsbook (-186), SI Sportsbook (-188), 888 Ontario (-188), LeoVegas (-186), Northstar (-186) and Bet99 (-186). Just in case you’re wondering–despite the fact that 888Sports in Ontario and SI Sportsbook in Colorado (powered by 888Sports) have the same moneyline price on the game there is some variation on the side and total prices. The best price on Colorado is -170 at WynnBET and Superbook.
Takeback on Edmonton is typically +150 or +155. Exceptions are BetOnline–at +161 they’ve got the best price on the Oilers among the books we checked. FoxBet is +140, CoolBet +156 and Bet99 is +145.
Oilers +1.5 is in the -150 or -155 at most book. The best price is at Colorado tribal property SkyUte where you can get -144. Outliers are also found at BetRivers (-148), Circa (-162), TwinSpires (-148), Barstool (-148), SI (-161), CoolBet (-149), LeoVegas (-148) and NorthStar (-148).
Avalanche -1.5 is in the +125 to +130 range. The best price you’ll find on Colorado is at DraftKings (+135), Circa (+135) and BetOnline (+135). Outliers here are BetRivers (+123), FoxBet (+120), TwinSpires (+123), Barstool (+123), Tipico (+120), SkyUte (+120), LeoVegas (+120), NorthStar (+120) and Bet99 (+120).
Not a huge surprise that in a series between the two highest scoring teams in the postseason we’ve got a high total. You can find -6.5 or -7 with right around a 50/50 split. If you want to play the -6.5 you’re looking at -135 or -140 OV and +115 or so UN. At 7, you’re looking at +110 to +115 OV or -120 to -130 UN.