The Colorado Avalanche take their show on the road to face the Edmonton Oilers Saturday in Game 3 of their Western Conference Finals playoff series. Colorado leads the series 2-0. Puck drop from Rogers Place is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET (TNT). Below, we look at the Avalanche vs. Oilers Game 3 odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
No G Darcy Kuemper? No problem – as the Avs dominated the Oilers in Game 2 with a 4-0 shutout. Edmonton has no answer for C Nathan MacKinnon, who had a robust 11 shots on goal in Game 2 and netted his 2nd goal in as many games. His speed has been a problem as Edmonton has tried to shadow him. It has led to penalties, and Colorado has capitalized.
Oilers C Connor McDavid, C Leon Draisaitl and LW Evander Kane were held to 7 shots on goal combined in the shutout. Draisaitl had a 9-game streak snapped with at least 1 assist. They’ll play better at home.
Avalanche at Oilers odds and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 8:58 a.m. ET.
Money line: Avalanche -130 (bet $130 to win $100) | Oilers +105 (bet $100 to win $105)
Against the spread (ATS): Avalanche -1.5 (+155) | Oilers +1.5 (-205)
Over/Under (O/U): 7.5 (O: +125 | U: -160)
Avalanche at Oilers projected goalies
Pavel Francouz (4-0, 2.48 GAA, .917 SV%, 1 SO – playoffs) vs. Mike Smith (8-4, 3.19 GAA, .916 SV%, 2 SO – playoffs)
What a luxury to have to turn to your backup goalie, and he delivers a 24-save shutout. The 32-year-old has been anything but a standard backup all season. Edmonton was able to get to him in relief of Kuemper in Game 1, but he still stopped 18 of 21 shots in a pinch.
Smith’s play has regressed through the playoffs, and he’s probably going to be on a short leash in this one. He was strong in the 1st round against the Los Angeles Kings, but the pressure has risen. He has allowed at least 3 goals in 6 of his last 7 games.
Avalanche at Oilers picks and predictions
Avalanche 5, Oilers 3
This is probably the best value you’re going to get on an Avalanche money line the rest of the series. For as dominant as they’ve been, it’s surprising they aren’t at least -150 favorites. Colorado is 5-0 on the road this postseason. They make it 6-0. Take the AVALANCHE (-130).
Against the spread
Edmonton will put up a fight at home, but they are clearly outmatched and don’t have the defenders to slow down Colorado. You have some options here, but Oilers +1.5 (-210) is not one.
You can go AVALANCHE -1.5 (+155) here as I think they’ll send Smith to the bench and take their shots at G Mikko Koskinen. You could also play it safe and take AVALANCHE IN REGULATION (+112). The only worry here is that Edmonton can score and Colorado is on its backup ‘tendy.
Even though we’re projecting the Over to cash here, there’s no way we’re suggesting taking Over 7.5 (+125). No one has scored within the first 5 minutes of either of the first 2 games. You can wait until the puck drops and try to get that number down to 6.5 before taking the Over. Otherwise, PASS.
Tipico also has a boosted odds wager at for 2+ goals scored in each period of regulation (+175). That would have hit in Game 1 but not Game 2. I don’t see anyone getting shut out here and if you’re feeling this will be a high-scoring one like me you can roll with it.
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