Venue: Rogers Place.
Game 1. The score of the series is 0-0.
Edmonton have beaten Winnipeg in the last six consecutive head-to-head meetings by 19-7. Will Paul Maurice’s team be able to break such a bad streak with a win in the opening game of the series? We predict the Oilers will once again be closer to success.
Edmonton’s current form
Edmonton had an excellent regular season, steadily scoring points and avoiding serious slumps. Of course, that good result was made possible thanks to the tremendous help of Connor McDavid, who never fails to live up to his stellar status, racking up big-time points. But many other players pale in comparison to him, so for the playoffs, the Oilers can only hope that their captain avoids injury and that their opponents never find an antidote to him. That didn’t happen in the regular season, so Edmonton finished second in the North Division standings.
Winnipeg’s current form
Winnipeg also had a good regular season, everything was working out for them without too many problems, but in the middle of April everything somehow suddenly broke down. Since then, Paul Maurice’s men have managed only three wins in 12 meetings and nine losses. The Jets’ coaching staff may have begun to prepare their team for the Cup campaign in advance, neglecting the regular-season finale, since they had already guaranteed a playoff spot around that time. We will find out very soon, and Edmonton will start the Stanley Cup campaign in third place in the North Division.
Expert Betting Tips
Edmonton and Winnipeg finished the regular season on adjacent lines in the North Division standings, but are separated by nine points, which is a solid distance for a truncated season. Moreover, the history of their head-to-head encounters also speaks in favour of the Oilers, who have beaten the Jets by 19-7 in the last six consecutive head-to-head meetings. There’s no reason to believe that Paul Maurice’s team will suddenly make the playoffs, so we’d have to bet on an Edmonton win at around 2.05.
The Canadian division is a different story in the NHL, as the regular season was the liveliest. Everyone was eager to play bright and attacking hockey, so virtually every game was like a grand celebration. Yes, in the upcoming clash the cost of error will be noticeably higher, but these teams are much better at attacking than defending, so now we can expect a goal-rich spectacle. With this in mind, Total Over 5.5 pucks at odds close to 1.80 seems like the best option for our prediction.
Connor McDavid had another fantastic regular season. The Canadian forward scored 105 points (33 goals + 72 assists) in 56 played meetings, which is a crazy result surpassing his nearest pursuer by 21 points. The assist numbers look modest against the backdrop, but 33 goals are the second-best mark in the league behind Auston Matthews, so a bet on Connor McDavid’s goal at around 1.90 is worth looking into.