NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 6/2/22

Cale Makar has been a stabilizing force on Colorado's backend all season. Can he help the Avs limit the damage against the Oilers in Game 2?

We couldn't ask for a much more entertaining start to the Conference Finals. The New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning followed suit in their series opener on Wednesday, tallying eight goals and sending the game over the total.

That wasn't even close to matching the 14 goals we had in Game 1 between the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers; the Avs single-handedly matched the total from the Eastern Final.

We're expecting a tighter defensive effort when the Oilers and Avs face-off in Game 2.

These are the plays we're looking at from our daily projections!

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers

Oilers +1.5 (-156): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 7.5 (-140): 5-Star Rating Out of 5

What we saw from Edmonton and Colorado on Tuesday night was not the norm. Both teams exceeded expectations by a substantive margin, while also abandoning the defensive structure that got them to the third round. We're anticipating both of those trends to correct on Thursday, leading to a lower-scoring game.

The Avalanche attempted 17 high-danger chances at five-on-five against the Oilers, which was a deviation from what we've seen from them so far this postseason. Just once over their previous five outings, the Avs attempted more than nine quality opportunities and they are averaging just over 10.0 per game in the playoffs. Unavoidably, the Avs' production will work back down towards average, making goals harder to come by.

Similarly, the Oilers saw a jump in their production metrics in Game 1, leaving them on an inevitable path with regression. Edmonton put up the most quality opportunities since the opening round, and they will be hard-pressed to replicate Tuesday's performance in Game 2. As scoring metrics start to tumble, it will bring output down with it, resulting in fewer goals.

Moreover, Colorado can't afford to play the run and gun style now that primary goalie Darcy Kuemper is unavailable. Pavel Francouz has been good when called upon, but the dropoff between primary and backup goalies puts the Avalanche at a disadvantage. Look for them to take a firmer stance on defense, rather than trying to trade blows with the Oilers, now that they have their backup in between the pipes.

Based on our projections, backing the under is rated as a five-star play.

That also leaves an edge in backing the Oilers on the puckline in what should be a tighter checking contest. Edmonton +1.5 is a less pronounced two-star play.