Kings vs. Oilers NHL Playoff Expert Picks – April 19, 2023
KINGS VS. OILERS NHL PLAYOFF EXPERT PICKS – April 19, 2023 — Is it time to panic for the Oilers after losing home ice to the Kings? Not if you remember last season. Edmonton dropped Game 1 at home to Los Angeles in last year’s first-round series by the same 4-3 score, then buried the Kings by a 6-0 count in Game 2.
The gap in Game 2 shouldn’t be quite as wide this time around, because the Kings’ defense has had the secret sauce to throw Edmonton’s offense off its game. Specifically, Los Angeles has kept Connor McDavid from taking over the contest, holding him to three points in five meetings this season. Not coincidentally, the Oilers haven’t topped three goals in any of their past six meetings against the Kings.
But as well as the Kings have handled McDavid, they haven’t done the same with Leon Draisaitl. The German center struck for two of Edmonton’s three goals in Game 1, and he came up with three points in the final regular season matchup. If the Kings can’t get a handle on him, they’re going to have a hard time keeping the Oilers’ offense contained for long.
|Los Angeles Kings
(50-23-10 SU, 46-37 PL)
When: Wednesday, April 19th at 10 pm EST
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Public Bets: 88% on New York
Public Money: 90% on New York
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 19th, 2023
Los Angeles vs. Edmonton In-Season Trends
Even with the Oilers’ scoring capabilities — or perhaps because their reputation sets the total too high — these teams tend to play to the UNDER in their meetings. Over the past 35 matchups in Edmonton, the UNDER has cashed 21 times with four pushes, and Game 1 only went over because it required an overtime goal.
Edmonton also doesn’t lose consecutive games very often. The Oilers haven’t lost back-to-back games since Feb. 27 against Boston, and they’ve gone 20-6 over their past 26 contests. That includes a pair of wins against the Kings on March 30 and April 4, where Edmonton held Los Angeles to a combined one goal.
Players to Watch
Adrian Kempe came up huge in the third period for Los Angeles with two goals, and the Oilers will have to pay greater attention to him this time around. Kempe scored the only two Kings goals that came 5-on-5 in Game 1, and he’s scored 11 points in the Kings’ past four games.
McDavid’s the obvious cog that has to get firing for Edmonton to get back on track. Just as important, the Oilers have to get on the power play more than they did in Game 1. Edmonton only got three chances with the man advantage, and although they scored on one of them, that’s not enough.
Draisaitl has been the best player on the ice in this matchup, and the Kings clearly don’t have an answer for him. With McDavid still struggling to break out, he’s the man who’s likely to lead the Oilers to evening the series.
Don’t read too much into the result in Game 1 here. Los Angeles came up with the win, but the Kings weren’t the better team. They stole that game off Kempe’s late heroics and the Oilers taking too many penalties at the end. That shouldn’t happen again in this one. McDavid’s too talented for Los Angeles to keep him down forever, and even if the Kings stymie him again, Draisaitl is still there to pick up the slack.
|Oilers -1.5 (+130)
Leon Draisaitl Over 1.5 Points