Infamously, no Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens in 1993 and with just four teams left, the Edmonton Oilers are the nation’s only hope to end the Cup drought.
Edmonton has a tough road ahead with a series against the current and preseason Stanley Cup favorite Colorado Avalanche. With this matchup in mind, the Oilers are the longest shot in Ontario sports betting to win the Cup of the four remaining teams with odds of +550.
In comparison, the Avalanche currently have NHL betting odds of +120 to win followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are favored to come out of the Eastern Conference final and have +230 odds to win their third straight championship.
To get to this point the Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings as a favorite in an opening-round series that lasted seven games and then went into the second round as an underdog against the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames.
Edmonton dropped the first game in resounding fashion but responded with four straight wins in a dominant offensive performance by captain Connor McDavid and fellow superstar Leon Draisaitl, who put up an incredible 17 points in the five games. McDavid and Draisaitl lead the playoffs in scoring with 26 points each through 12 games.
Oilers-Avalanche Series Schedule
- Game 1: Tuesday, 8 p.m. at Colorado.
- Game 2: Thursday, 8 p.m. at Colorado.
- Game 3: Saturday, 8 p.m. at Edmonton.
- Game 4: June 6, 8 p.m. at Edmonton.
- Game 5: June 8, 8 p.m. at Colorado (if necessary).
- Game 6: June 10, TBD at Edmonton (if necessary).
- Game 7: June 12, TBD at Colorado (if necessary).
Oilers Facing Cup Favorites
The matchup is exceptionally tough as Colorado has been favored to win the Cup all season and has made relatively quick work of its opponents in the playoffs, sweeping the Nashville Predators before beating the St Louis Blues in six games.
The Avalanche are led by a couple offensive superstars of their own, most notably Nathan MacKinnon, widely regarded to be one of the top three players in hockey — but clearly a notch below McDavid. Joining MacKinnon are elite defenseman Cale Makar, the Norris Trophy favorite this year, and Mikko Rantanen, who put up 92 points in 75 regular season games.
The Avalanche have an elite offense and powerplay and are a solid defensive team, ranking in the top 10 in goals and goals against in the regular season. Devon Toews joins Makar on the top defensive pairing that was the best in the NHL all season long and those two players will be counted on to try and slow down McDavid. The Avalanche are favored to win the series with odds of -250 at BetMGM Ontario.
Updated Stanley Cup Odds
Complementary Line Shows Up for Oilers
Edmonton can match Colorado offensively and on the power play with McDavid and Draisaitl leading the way. Where the Oilers have struggled in the past has been with secondary scoring, but Evander Kane, Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent Hopkins have emerged in the playoffs.
That has given them the ability to load McDavid and Draisaitl up on one line and still be able to produce offense from their depth players, something they haven’t been able to do consistently since drafting McDavid in 2015. Edmonton is at +125 in the first game, but it will be tough to beat the Avalanche in Colorado.
The main weakness for both teams will be keeping the puck out of their own net. For Edmonton, the issue is defensive play as it generally gives up a ton of shots and has needed goalie Mike Smith to be exceptional, which he has been except for a few notable gaffes.
Colorado has been solid defensively, but starting goalie Darcy Kuemper has been average at best. The Avalanche will limit Edmonton’s chances as best they can, but against the world's best player there will be times when Kuemper is called upon and he will need to be better than he has thus far.
Betting Tip: Check Out Over/Under
With this in mind, bettors will want to look to the over/under market to make money on this series as the over should hit in most games.
Ultimately, as it has been for the Oilers all year and really over the past handful of seasons, this team will only be able to go as far as McDavid takes it. He's one of the favorites to win the Hart Trophy, along with Toronto's Auston Matthews. In the playoffs, McDavid has somehow managed to take his game to another level, something that seemed impossible but has been the key to the team's success.
Now facing the class of the league, McDavid’s best might not be enough against the combination of MacKinnon, Makar, Rantanen and the rest of the Avalanche’s deep and talented roster. With Smith showing signs of slowing in the Calgary series and some injury concerns with Draisaitl among others, the Oilers will likely see their season end at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche.