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Posted at 3:30 PM EST.
Los Angeles +172 over Edmonton
Western Conference Quarterfinal - Game 1
10:00 PM EST. What are we going to say about Connor McDavid and his band of merry men? Men might even be a bit of an overstatement, as the Oilers are a two-man team. Batman and Robin would be a better comparison. With McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers have a chance to win every night. They can take over a game on a whim and make you pay for the smallest mistake. That was the regular season and we all know when the playoffs begin, the whistles are fewer and much farther between.
Please don’t take that fact as a suggestion that the Kings must dirty up McDavid and Draisaitl to win this series. They don’t. We’d be remiss if we did not turn your eyes to a Los Angeles side that is built for the playoffs. The Kings have a good mix of young players and veterans and they still have Jonathan Quick between the pipes. Quick has got hot of late, posting a .950 save percentage over his last five starts. We must be fair to Edmonton’s Mike Smith, who sits right behind Quick at .947 (in four starts). The question is which of these two goalies do you trust more? Smith is hot now, but has there been a more inconsistent netminder in the league the last couple of years? Oiler fans have been ready to run him out of town on a rail on more than one occasion. This season. We cannot get behind buying high on Mike Smith.
All the pressure is on the Oilers here. They’ve wasted the first six years of the greatest player of his generation’s career. Even if Edmonton gets out of the first round, if they lose in round two, the same questions are going to be asked. No team outside of Toronto has more pressure on them than the McDavids.
You don't think the well-coached Kings have a game plan to make someone else beat them?. The Kings played Edmonton tough all year. In fact, L.A. outshot and outchanced the Oilers in all four games, They beat ‘em once, 5-1 and lost twice by just one goal with one occurring in OT. No chance will the Kings be intimidated by this setting.
What happens if the Oilers go down a goal or two tonight or in Game 2? They’ll be gripping their sticks and Smith’s head will be spinning. He’s not exactly known for his composure or positive demeanor. It will not take long for Smith’s petulance to spread through the Oilers and their faithful and when it does, there will be 19,000 with torches in their hands looking for blood.
The Kings on the other hand are playing with house money and they are being totally disrespected by the oddsmakers and the market. Los Angeles figures to be the betting underdog regardless of where the games in this series are being played and it is with that in mind that we plan to attack the inflated prices the Kings will be taking back night after night.
Los Angeles +172 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.44)