The Los Angeles Kings are on the road to open their 1st-round Western Conference playoff series with the Edmonton Oilers Monday. Puck drop at Rogers Place is set for 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2). Below, we look at the Kings vs. Oilers odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Kings finished the regular season 44-27-11 for 99 points to earn the 3rd seed in the Pacific Division. L.A. has the second-lowest goal differential (+3) of any playoff team (the Dallas Stars are last at -8). The Kings are in the playoffs for the first time since a 1st-round exit in 2017-18. They haven’t advanced past the opening round since capturing the Stanley Cup in 2013-14.
The Oilers clinched opening-round home ice with 104 points on the heels of a 49-27-6 season. The Oilers have large playoff hopes after an astounding season from C Connor McDavid, who captured the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer with a career-high 123 points, while teammate C Leon Draisaitl tied his career-high as he finished 4th in the scoring race with 110 points. Edmonton has not advanced beyond the opening round since a 2nd-round exit in 2016-17.
Kings 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 1:09 p.m. ET.
Money line: Kings +160 (bet $100 to win $160) | Oilers -200 (bet $200 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Kings +1.5 (-160) | Oilers -1.5 (+125)
Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -105 | U: -120)
Kings at Oilers projected goalies
Jonathan Quick (23-13-9, 2.59 GAA, .910 SV%, 2 SO) vs. Mike Smith (16-9-2, 2.81 GAA, .915 SV%, 2 SO)
Quick rebounded in April after a rough stretch from January through March as he went 6-1-0 with a 2.24 GAA and .915 SV%. The veteran netminder was 1-1-1 in 3 games against the Oilers this season with a 2.29 GAA and .918 SV%, most recently taking a loss April 7 in a 3-2 defeat where he stopped 27 of 30 shots.
Smith had his best month of the season in April. The 40-year-old ‘tender finished 9-0-0 with a .951 SV% and 1.66 GAA while posting both of his shutouts along the way. He was 2-0 in two starts against L.A. with 61 saves on 65 shots.
Kings at Oilers picks and predictions
Edmonton 4, Los Angeles 2
The Oilers took 3 of 4 meetings from the Kings during the regular season, outscoring their division rival 13-12 across the series. Los Angeles’ lone victory came in an early December meeting while Smith was sidelined.
Both goaltenders come into Monday’s series opener playing excellent hockey, but Smith has been the better of the two and held the Kings in check during both of his starts against them in the regular season. Edmonton won those two games by a combined 8-4 mark.
Edmonton is one of the league’s premier offensive sides and should do enough to squeak by Monday. This is starting to push the limits of a money line bet. If it exceeds -200, you’d want to probably only consider it as part of a parlay and not a standalone, bet but you can BACK THE OILERS (-200) to take the series opener on home ice for now.
Against the spread
I wouldn’t get too carried away here — the Kings have mostly played the Oilers tight throughout the season. However, the better offensive team and the better goaltender should give an edge to the home side and the pressure will be ramped up on L.A. to even the game late in the final frame. That should produce additional chances at the empty-net goal and lend some value to the OILERS -1.5 (+125).
Playoff hockey tends to be physical, defensive affairs, and with Quick and Smith both playing well lately I wouldn’t bank on either getting totally shelled Monday. A small lean to the UNDER 6.5 (-120) is my play here.
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