NHL Betting Preview (April 22): Kings vs. Oilers Predictions

The NHL playoffs are finally here, and hockey fans can look forward to the kind of intensity, speed, and drama that only the race for the Stanley Cup can offer. In this first-round matchup, the Edmonton Oilers, second in the Pacific Division, will face off against the Los Angeles Kings, the third-place team in the division. There is a lot of ground to cover heading into the Game 1 matchup on Monday night, so keep reading for a comprehensive betting preview.

Bet on Kings vs. Oilers

LAK +125
EDM -163

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The Oilers are home favourites, coming in at between -163 and -180 on the moneyline.

Kings vs. Oilers Best Odds

Kings Moneyline Odds+149 @ Pinnacle
Oilers Moneyline Odds-163 @ PowerPlay
Puckline oddsKings +1.5 (-167) @ Proline+
Oilers -1.5 (+155) @ Pinnacle
Total Over 5.5 goals (-122) @ Betano
Under 5.5 goals (+110) @ Bet99
Time/DateApril 22, 10:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports (French)
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Betting Los Angeles Kings (44-27-11 SU, 39-43 ATS, 31-48-3 o/u)

The Kings had been a streaky team throughout much of the year. It seemed that they had found their footing over the last month of the season, beginning with a 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on March 19.

The group would go 10-5 over their final 15 games, including winning three of the last four. It would be just enough to keep them ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights, winners of last year’s Stanley Cup, for the final spot in the Pacific Division playoff race.

The Kings have demonstrated plenty of offensive balance throughout their lineup even if they can’t compete with Edmonton’s outright firepower. Adrian Kempe led the team with 47 assists and 75 points, with the latter figure landing him in the top 40 in the NHL.

The Kings have a good mix of young and old with names like Anze Kopitar (70 points) and Drew Doughty (50 points) leading a talented group of youngsters like Kevin Fiala (73 points) and Quinton Byfield (55 points). The Kings won a pair of Stanley Cups in the 2010s with Kopitar and Doughty, so they know a little bit about how to manage a postseason campaign.

Betting Edmonton Oilers (49-27-6 SU, 38-44 ATS, 36-43-3 o/u)

After a slow start that had everyone questioning the regime in Edmonton, the Oilers found their footing in a big way. At this point, we’re dealing with arguably the most dangerous and well-balanced team the Oilers have had since drafting Connor McDavid in 2015, and it shows. The Oilers finished second in the Western Conference, scoring the third-most goals in the regular season (294), behind only the Colorado Avalanche (304) and Dallas Stars (298).

The Oilers are coming off a little bit of a lull, having lost four of their final five games. You could argue that they understandably took their foot off the pedal having a healthy lead on Los Angeles for the second spot in the division. Whether or not that’s the case, it will create a bit of unease heading into the toughest part of the season.

Nevertheless, McDavid is back at it again, finishing third in the league with 132 points. Even more impressively, he became the fourth player in NHL history to record 100 assists in a season (Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov became the fifth just a few days later). He is joined by Leon Draisaitl (106 points), Zach Hyman (54 goals), and Evan Bouchard (82 points), among others.

The fatal flaw for the Oilers in the past has been a lack of strong goaltending and defence that even a potent offence couldn’t overcome. With experience behind them and a strong season from Stuart Skinner in goal, the hope is that this is the team that can finally get over the hump and reach the Cup Final for the first time since 2006.

Last Matchup

As Pacific Division rivals, these two have played each other more than a few times this season. The last matchup between the two clubs came back on March 28, in Edmonton. The game was a critical one for the Kings, who sat five points back of the Oilers at the time.

Unfortunately for the Kings, it was not their night. The two-headed monster of McDavid and Draisaitl was on full display that night. The latter racked up three assists while McDavid added a goal and two assists of his own. Bouchard also had a multi-point night with a goal and an assist.

The Oilers would score a goal in each of the first two frames before tacking on a pair in the third to seal a 4-1 win. Though it was almost a month ago now, the Oilers will be hoping to replicate that result in Game 1 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Projected Kings and Oilers Lines

Today’s Los Angeles Kings LinesToday’s Edmonton Oilers Lines
Alex Lafferiere – Anze Kopitar – Adrian Kempe
Trevor Moore – Phillip Danault – Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala – Blake Lizotte – Trevor Lewis
Quinton Byfield – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Carl Grundstrom

Mike Anderson – Drew Doughty
Vladislav Gavrikov – Matt Roy
Andreas Englund – Jordan Spence

Starting In Goal
Cam Talbot
27-20-6, 2.50 GAA, 0.913 SV%
Adam Henrique – Connor McDavid – Zach Hyman
Ryan Nugent Hopkins – Leon Draisaitl – Warren Foegele
Dylan Holloway – Ryan McLeod – Corey Perry
Evander Kane – Sam Carrick – Mattias Janmark

Mattias Ekholm – Evan Bouchard
Darnell Nurse – Cody Ceci
Brett Kulak – Vincent Desharnais

Starting In Goal
Stuart Skinner
36-16-5, 2.62 GAA, 0.905 SV%

Zach Hyman to Score A Goal


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Kings vs. Oilers Injury Concerns

The Kings have been largely healthy this year and could be back to virtually full health for Game 1. Goalie Phoenix Copley is out but forward Carl Grundstrom could be back. He was on the IR with a lower-body injury but recently completed a conditioning stint in the AHL, indicating that he could be back for Game 1.

Despite the injury list for the Oilers – with virtually every major name listed as day-to-day – the Oilers will be cautiously optimistic that there are no serious concerns. Everyone will be in action on Monday as the Oilers gear up for an extended playoff run.

  • The Oilers ended the season on a sour note, going 1-3-1 over their final five games. Similarly, they went 1-4 against the puck line in that span, the lone cover coming in a 9-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on March 15.
  • On the flipside, the Kings have been quite good against the spread of late. After a string of three straight failed covers, the Kings went 6-2 against the spread to finish the season. This includes a very encouraging 6-3 win over Pacific Division champion Vancouver on April 6.
  • Despite all of their offensive firepower, the Oilers have been mediocre when it comes to the over. They finished 3-6-1 regarding the over/under to finish the year, including a stretch of three unders in their final five contests.
  • Connor McDavid has been virtually automatic this season when it comes to his points prop (1.5, -120) Going back to March 10 (16 games), he registered a point in 13 games, 12 of which were of the multi-point variety. That includes a whopping six games where he had three or more points.
  • Kevin Fiala has been heating up this month. Keep an eye on his odds to score anytime (+190) as he tallied goals five times over the final nine games of the year. His 29 tallies fell just shy of his career-best 33 set during his final season with the Minnesota Wild in 2021-22.
  • Evan Bouchard may have cooled off substantially in the final month of the season but his points prop (0.5, -150) bears watching. In nine games during April, Bouchard managed a point in four games. This following March, when he had points in 11 of 15 games, including seven multi-point contests.

Kings vs. Oilers Predictions

  • The playoffs are always tightly contested. Given both teams’ knack for hitting the under, it feels like a safe play to take the under (5.5, +110 at Bet99) here. Game 1 is usually a feeling-out period for both teams, so look for a low-scoring affair.
  • McDavid was an absolute terror in the first-round matchup against the Kings a year ago. He scored in five of the six games, racking up 10 points in the process. It will be interesting to see if he is still focused on assists as the playoffs start, but he should be a threat to hit multiple points (-110 at DraftKings) in this one. If you’re feeling especially bullish about the Oilers at home in game one, we don’t mind McDavid to register three or more points (+275 at bet365).
  • Zach Hyman set a career-high with 54 goals this year. More importantly, he proved himself to be one of the most dangerous net-front presences in the league. The playoffs are about scoring the ugly goals, and no one does it better. Look for him to get on the board (+145 at Sports Interaction) with an important goal in Game 1.

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