Kings vs Oilers Game 1 Picks and Predictions: Edmonton Gets Off on Right Foot

The Edmonton Oilers look to make up for disappointing playoff pushes in recent years when they face off against the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers are heavy favorites and we expect that they'll shake the postseason monkey off their back tonight.

John Reger - Contributor at
John Reger • Contributor
May 2, 2022 • 09:19 ET • 4 min read
Connor McDavid Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton Oiler NHL Playoffs
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers are the favorites in Game 1 — as well as the entire first-round series — against the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers defeated the Kings in three of four meetings this year, and are 5-1 in their last six clashes. 

The Kings come into the first game of the playoffs winning five of their last six regular-season games. Goalie Jonathan Quick is peaking at the right time, allowing just eight goals in his last five games. 

Can the L.A. steal Game 1 in Edmonton or will the Oilers come out blazing? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Monday, May 2.

Kings vs Oilers odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The heavily favored Oilers opened at -205, though several books saw the line go to -195 by this writing. The Kings opened at +165 and saw their odds bump up to +170. The total has stayed at 6.0, with the Over at -125, while the Under is available at +105.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until puck drop and be sure to check out the full NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Kings vs Oilers predictions

Predictions made on 5/2/2022 at 8:45 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Kings vs Oilers game info

Location: Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB
Date: Monday, May 2, 2022
Puck drop: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN2, CBC, Rogers Sportsnet

Kings vs Oilers series odds

Kings: +200.
Oilers: -250.

Kings vs Oilers betting preview

Key injuries

Kings: Drew Doughty D (Out), Sean Walker D (Out).
Oilers: Darnell Nurse D (Questionable).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Kings vs Oilers head-to-head record since 2021

Kings: 1-3 SU, 12 goals for.
Oilers: 3-1 SU, 13 goals for.

Betting trend to know

The Kings are 1-6 in their last seven games in Edmonton. Find more NHL betting trends for Kings vs. Oilers.

Kings vs Oilers picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Puck line analysis

The Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers met four times this season with the Oilers winning three of those games. 

The last contest was a 5-2 Edmonton victory in February and the Oilers are currently on a three-game winning streak coming into the playoffs. 

The Oilers are determined to get out of the first round, something they haven't done in either of the past two years, despite being favored in both series. 

They should be able to take advantage of the Kings defense, which still managed to finish seventh in goals-against average at 2.79, but is missing blueline staples, Drew Doughty and Sean Walker. 

It has been almost defense by committee, with the forwards pitching in as well. The second line of Phillip Denault, Trevor Moore, and Viktor Arvidsson will have the task of stopping either the NHL points leader in center Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl (fourth). Pick your poison.

In years past, those were the only two players you had to focus on to thwart Edmonton, but new addition Evander Kane, who finished the season with 22 goals in 43 games, is skating alongside McDavid, adding to the potency of that top line. 

Zach Hyman, who came over from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the offseason, emerged as a perfect linemate for Draisaitl, scoring 27 goals and adding 27 assists. 

The Kings’ two highest scorers skate on the first line, allowing the Oilers to focus on just Anze Kopitar (66 points) and Adrian Kempe (53 points). 

The special teams also favor the Edmonton. The Oilers are third in the league in power-play conversion at 26%. The Kings are 26th at 16.1%. Also, the Oilers PK is at 79.37%, better than the Kings' 76.65% success rate.

The Oilers are ready to atone for the last two seasons and will come out firing. Expect at least a two-goal victory.

Prediction: Oilers -1.5 (+135 at Caesars)

Over/Under analysis

With all the offense the Oilers can provide, I believe it will be the defense that truly shines in the first game. During the regular season, Edmonton’s defense was often a liability.  

That changed when former head coach Dave Tippett was replaced by Jay Woodcroft in February. 

The team saw its defense improve. They ended up 18th in GAA at 3.06, but since Woodcroft took over, the team has a .915 save percentage, which ranks third in the league. 

Goalie Mike Smith’s play also got much better. The 40-year-old battled injuries all year but has wrestled the starting job away from Mikko Koskinen. Since the All-Star break, Smith has a 2.55 GAA and a .921 save percentage. 

In two games Smith played against the Kings this season — both victories — he allowed two goals in each game. 

In those two games the Over and Under each hit once apiece, but the Under has hit 13 times in the Oilers' last 16 games. The Kings are 5-0-1 on the Under in their last six playoff games as an underdog. 

The Kings don’t have the firepower to match the Oilers and probably won’t keep up if the Oilers put a couple of quick goals on the scoreboard. If Los Angeles has to rely on defense or goalie Jonathan Quick, this could be a big night for Edmonton. 

Prediction: Under 6 (+105 at PointsBet)

Best bet

With superstar centers McDavid and Draisaitl anchoring Edmonton's first two lines, it's easy to forget third-line center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. That would be a mistake.

The 29-year-old has had an assist in three of the team’s last five games and ranked third on the team with 39 helpers throughout the regular season. His wingers, Warren Foegele and Derek Ryan, each have double-digit goals this season. 

The Kings defense is going to be focused on McDavid and Draisaitl, leaving Nugent-Hopkins likely to face the Kings’ third defensive unit of rookie Sean Durzi and Jacob Moverare. 

Also, Nugent-Hopkins is on the first unit of the power play, where he, not McDavid, centers the line. It is a power play that ranks third in conversion rate at 26%. 

Pick: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins over 0.5 assists (+175 at DraftKings)


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