NHL Betting Preview (April 26): Oilers vs. Kings Game 3 Predictions

Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings scores the overtime winning goal against goaltender Stuart Skinner #74 of the Edmonton Oilers in Game Two of the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on April 24, 2024, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The scene now shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 as the Edmonton Oilers take on the Kings in the third game of their opening-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs series.

Oh, the difference a game can make. In Game 1 of their series with the Kings, the Oilers looked like world-beaters. They scored at will and only a late flurry could make the final score – a 7-4 Oilers victory – look respectable.

But after a heartbreaking Game 2 for the Oilers, the series shifts to Los Angeles tied at one game apiece. There’s a lot of ground to cover as the Oilers head on the road looking to right the wrongs that occurred last time out.

Bet on Oilers vs. Kings GM3

EDM -140
LAK +120

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Oilers vs. Kings best odds

Oilers Moneyline Odds-137 @ Pinnacle
Kings Moneyline Odds+125 @ Betano
Puckline oddsOilers -1.5 (+180) @ Caesars
Kings +1.5 (-201) @ Pinnacle
Series oddsOilers -200, Kings +165 @ bet365
Total Over 6.5 goals (+106) @ Pinnacle
Under 6.5 goals (-115) @ Caesars
Time/DateApril 26, 10:30 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Last matchup (Game 2)

Things started hot and heavy. Adrian Kempe scored his second of the series just 3:19 into the contest, a quick one-time snap off a pass from Anze Kopitar. He followed it up nearly 12 minutes later with an impressive feat of hand-eye coordination, knocking the puck out of mid-air to make it 2-0.

Brett Kulak responded almost two minutes after that, but Drew Doughty’s first playoff goal since 2014 – on a rush down ice, no less – made it 3-1 heading into the locker room. The Oilers roared back in the second, getting a goal from Dylan Holloway before Zach Hyman’s fourth of the series knotted things 3-3.

Both teams traded goals to open the third before ultimately taking things to the extra session. As had been the case in the first and third, it didn’t take long for the red light to come on. Kopitar broke in on Stuart Skinner and ripped one high glove side to send Edmonton fans home in stunned silence.

Betting Edmonton Oilers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, 2-0 o/u)

Coming into the playoffs, the concerns for the Oilers were the ones they’d heard about the past few years. In particular, whether or not the goaltending could match the level of their vaunted offence. And yet, with Mattias Ekholm, Evan Bouchard, and Darnell Nurse on defence, and Skinner having a career year in net, the back end seemed to have been just about shored up.

In Game 1, Skinner was largely fine, save for a very late flurry from the Kings. All was well. Unfortunately for the Albertans, Game 2 was substantially different. After 20 minutes, the Kings had three goals and the hometown faithful was left stunned.

Two of the first three goals were somewhat flukey – Kempe batted a midair pass into the back of the net for the second goal while Doughty plowed through Skinner for the third – but this is the time of year when that kind of thing doesn’t matter.

The Oilers, if anything, showed good resilience. They stormed back to tie the game at 3-3 in the second, then sent the game to overtime after knotting the game at 4-4 early in the third. But there are no moral wins and no points to earn. A win is a win and losing Game 2 hurts for the Oilers.

Betting Los Angeles Kings (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, 2-0 o/u)

The Kings did what every professional team hopes to do in Game 2. They put the ugly Game 1 result behind them and came out flying in Game 2. The energy was there from the jump and continued even through the ups and downs that would follow.

Kempe was the star of the show, scoring a pair in the first period to give the Kings the multi-goal lead with five minutes to go in the first. Kopitar took the reins as well, adding a pair of assists as well as the overtime game-winner to stun the Oilers.

The Kings were successful largely because of their transition offence. The first three goals, plus Kopitar’s overtime winner, came from fast breaks rather than moments of sustained pressure. Getting Stuart moving and causing a ruckus in front of the net proved to be successful.

On paper, the Kings are outmatched. But if they can break out of their zone with speed and get the Oilers’ defenders on their heels, Skinner can be compromised. Kempe and Kopitar showed that in Game 2, much to the Oilers’ dismay.

Zach Hyman to score a goal


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Projected Oilers and Kings 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%

The top line, naturally, has had its success. Connor McDavid and Hyman have combined for 11 points in two games so far, which is just ridiculous. But the Kings have answered, thanks in large part to Kempe and his four points (three goals). The goaltenders have been in for it so far, both with awful goals against and save percentages.

Oilers vs. Kings injury concerns

Despite the physicality of playoff hockey, both rosters are at full strength heading into Game 3. Every contest will bear watching because virtually every corner of the roster is banged up at this point in the season, so things can change on a game-to-game basis.

  • It should come as no surprise that the Oilers have hit the over in their last four playoff games going back to last year’s conference semi-final matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights. In that stretch, the two teams have accounted for seven or more goals in each.
  • The Kings have had to face the run-and-gun Oilers the last two years and the results have been tough for them. A Game 3 win last year (3-2) is the only time in eight games against the Oilers in which they have given up fewer than three goals.
  • Also worth noting about the Oilers is that they have not had much playoff success of late. Despite beating the Kings 4-2 in the first round last year, they have lost five of their past eight playoff games, including three of the last four.
  • Is there a player hotter than Hyman when it comes to putting the puck in the net? He has scored in both games so far in this series, including a hat trick in Game 1. Going back to the Vegas series last year, he has goals in three of four games as well.
  • Kempe yet again came through, but that shouldn’t be surprising. Going back to the 2023 series, Kempe has scored in every game against the Oilers (eight games). Even more impressive is that he has eight goals in that span.
  • An interesting trend is developing with Bouchard. He’s followed up a very good performance with a stinker twice now. In Game 5 of the Vegas series, he had two assists before putting up a minus and no points in Game 6. In Game 1 against the Kings, he was +1 with four assists before following it up with a -1 and a no-show on the stat sheet.

Oilers vs. Kings predictions

  • The goaltenders have struggled in this series and rightfully so. The Oilers have a ton of firepower and Kempe/Kopitar come to play when it matters. Until the goalies show the capability of stealing even a period, take the over (6.5, +106 – Pinnacle) until it doesn’t hit.
  • A rule when it comes to sports betting is to ride the hot streaks. Hyman is enjoying a career year (his first 50-goal season) and has scored in both games. So long as McDavid keeps feeding him, take Hyman to score any time (+130 – Sports Interaction).
  • Going into Los Angeles, the Oilers are going to have to weather the storm. An interesting wager to consider is the Kings +0.5 in the first period (-210 – bet365). They started hot in Game 2 and the crowd should have them coming out with a ton of energy in Game 3.