Oilers vs. Avalanche prediction: NHL odds, picks, best bets for Thursday

Oilers vs. Avalanche prediction: NHL odds, picks, best bets for Thursday
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Aside from a couple of pending seedings, the final day of the 2024 NHL regular season doesn’t feature any games with major playoff implications.

The Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche will carry out their final game against one another on Thursday with both of their positions in the bracket locked. 

It’s the second game of a road back-to-back for the Oilers, who just dropped a 5-2 decision in Arizona in an emotional night for the Coyotes. Both Edmonton and Colorado seek to end their campaigns on a winning note after losing three of their last four contests, respectively. 

Center Connor McDavid has made his case for a fourth Hart Trophy in Edmonton with his seventh season of triple-digit points. Nathan MacKinnon is chasing his first MVP honors as the -350 to win the award with a career-best 137-point season.  

Two of the game’s most prolific players lead equipped teams primed for the feared No. 2 vs. No. 3 seed first-round matchups in their respective divisions. Let’s discuss a player prop bet to consider in this high-octane tuneup.

Oilers vs. Avalanche odds

TeamMoneylinePuck LineTotal
Oilers+180+1.5 (-135)o6.5 (-125)
Avalanche-218-1.5 (+114)u6.5 (+105)
Odds via DraftKings

Oilers vs. Avalanche prediction 

If we take the zero stakes that this game carries into account, there’s plenty of room to assume lineup adjustments could be in store to preserve health. 

McDavid still registered 18:10 in ice time on Wednesday as the second-most active forward in the lineup.

It’s three-plus minutes fewer than his season average, but I’m looking for him to get up against his Canadian counterpart as he attempts to get past the Western Conference Final for the first time in his career.

He has earned his dough with 100 assists this year, compensating for a goal total that has accounted for only half of his 2023 output of 64.

Justus Annunen gets the start in goal for the Avalanche in the regular-season finale on Thursday.Justus Annunen gets the start in goal for the Avalanche in the regular-season finale on Thursday. NHLI via Getty Images

McDavid scored twice against the Avalanche in the last meeting with Alexandar Georgiev in net.

Edmonton was a menace at five-on-five in that April 5 game, peppering the net with 47 shots after taking complete control of puck possession in the second and third periods.  

The Oilers have averaged 40 shots in their two games against the Avs, while McDavid has generated a mean of seven against them.

Justus Annunen will start in goal for the Avalanche. He’s been stable in his 13 appearances since getting called up in January, but Colorado has been slipping at five-on-five in the month of April, harnessing 3.9 expected goals against per 60 minutes. 

McDavid primarily wears the playmaker hat, but he scores on 12.1 percent of his shots. Not to mention, he’s potted seven goals on 64 shots on the fourth-most efficient power play in the NHL.

Betting on the NHL?

Oilers vs. Avalanche pick

I’m expecting valuable shifts from McDavid in this playoff dress rehearsal, even if Kris Knoblauch does decide to give his stars a considerably light workload. 

With the Avalanche’s sluggish recent performances and the Oilers on short rest, chase the bargain value on McDavid to cash in.

Pick: Connor McDavid anytime goal (+150, FanDuel)