The Colorado Avalanche will try to advance to the Stanley Cup with a sweep as they face the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4. It’s time to continue our NHL odds coverage with an Avalanche-Oilers Game 4 prediction and pick.
The Avalanche defeated the Oilers 4-2 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Now, Colorado has a chance to sweep the best-of-seven series and go to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001.
The Oilers struck first when Connor McDavid scored 38 seconds into the game to make it 1-0 Edmonton. Then, seconds after the goal, Evander Kane slammed Nazem Kadri head first into the boards. The referees called a boarding call, and Kadri had to leave the game with an injury. The trainers have ruled him out for the rest of the Western Conference Finals, while the NHL has suspended Kane for one game.
The Avs made a comeback in that same period as Valeri Nichushkin scored the equalizer to make it 1-1. Later, Nichushkin struck again with a second-period goal to give Colorado the lead. The Avs went into the third period with the lead when Oilers tied it on a Ryan McCleod goal. Next, Colorado took full control of the game as J.T. Compher put them ahead while Mikko Rantanen finished it off with an empty-net goal.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Avalanche-Oilers odds:
NHL odds: Avalanche-Oilers Odds
Avalanche: -1.5 (+172) Avalanche ML (-134)
Oilers: +1.5 (-210) Oilers ML (+112)
Over: 7 (+104)
Under: 7 (-128)
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Why The Avalanche Could Cover The Spread
The Avalanche has a chance to sweep one of the best offenses in the NHL. They have succeeded in this series mainly because of how well they have contained McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. After McDavid scored a goal and two assists in Game 1, he did nothing in Game 2. His goal in Game 3 was the only damage he did. Likewise, Draisaitl has gone missing. After putting in two assists in Game 1, he has gone scoreless over the next two games. The Avalanche allowed the Oilers to tally six goals on them in Game 1. Alternatively, they have allowed two goals combined over the past two games.
The Avalanche have done this by outshooting the Oilers and winning the faceoff. They fired 43 shots on the net in Game 3 while winning 58 percent of the draws. Colorado is getting more opportunities on the power play as they have not taken as many penalties as the Oilers have. Their ability to block shots in front of the net has been exceptional. They blocked 13 shots on Saturday.
Nathan Mackinnon has been great for the Avalanche. The all-star has two goals and two assists through three games and has been a force at every stage. Then, there is Cale Makar. Game 3 was the first game in seven games that he had not scored. Makar had a goal and two assists in Game 1 and an assist in Game 2. He is all over the ice and one of the primary reasons the Avalanche are one win away from the Stanley Cup.
The Avalanche will cover the spread if they can contain McDavid and Draisaitl. Also, they cover if they continue outshooting the Oilers, winning faceoffs, and limiting penalties.
Why The Oilers Could Cover The Spread
The Oilers need to play the best game possible. Likewise, they need to jump out to an early lead and build on that lead. McDavid and Draisaitl need to reach deep within themselves and be the stars they are. Additionally, the Oilers have to play smart hockey.
Taking a boarding call seconds after scoring killed all momentum the Oilers built up early. It diminished any chance of jumping all over the Avalanche, and they were playing on their heels. The Oilers allowed the Avalanche to have five power-play opportunities. That cannot happen if they expect to win. The defense also played poorly in front of Mike Smith, blocking only seven shots.
The Oilers also failed to convert their two power-play chances. Colorado will not give Edmonton many chances on the extra-man attack so the Oilers have to pounce when there is a chance. The Oilers will cover the spread if McDavid and Draisaitl both play excellent. Additionally, the Oilers cover if they play a smarter brand of hockey and do not give the Avalanche too many opportunities.
Final Avalanche-Oilers Game 4 Prediction & Pick
It is do or die for the Oilers. The line is not appealing to take either team to cover. However, the money line for the Avalanche is enticing. The Oilers do not have the playmakers aside from McDavid and Draisaitl to stop the Avalanche. Colorado is heading back to the Stanley Cup.
Final Avalanche-Oilers Game 4 Prediction & Pick: Avalanche ML