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Odds and Ends

NHL Best Bet: Thursday, May 12

by Josh Wagner
Updated On: May 13, 2022, 1:46 pm ET

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Hello hello! The Stanley Cup Playoffs are moving right along and many of these first-round matchups have not disappointed. As we head into the final days of the opening round, many teams have tremendous pressure on them and I think that motivation can be exploited for our wagering gain. It was a big win for our Flames play last night at plus money so here’s to hoping that’s a sign of things to come. There are four games on the NHL docket tonight. Here is the play I'm looking at for our potential winner.

Postseason Records to Date:

Record: 3-6 | Units -2.95


Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings, 10:00 PM ET, TBS (Game 6)

I say this with no exaggeration whatsoever, tonight’s game for the Oilers is the most important one in the Connor McDavid era. An Edmonton loss tonight and the questions will quickly come shouting, as it would mean another early exit for this talented group. Questions like, is this the right group moving forward? Should we blow this thing up? I asked this because the time is now to win with McDavid and Leon DraisaitlThose questions might be fair regardless of tonight’s outcome but no one in Edmonton wants to have that conversation and would love to postpone it a couple more days.

That being said, big players always step up in big games. McDavid hasn’t been a monster in analytics this series, but he has sure as heck impacted it in a big way. The young center has nine points through five games in these playoffs. He nearly single handedly brought the Oilers back from a two-goal deficit twice in Game 5. He is going to have to be sublime tonight and I believe he will be in a series where the Kings have had a little answer for the kid.

Outside of McDavid, I will be looking for players like Zach Hyman and Evander Kane to make their stamps as well. The Kings aren’t a deep team and the Oilers need their role players to show up. On the defensive side Duncan Keith needs to be much better, he was spectacularly bad in Game 5, but can the veteran turn back the clock tonight? Mike Smith will get the start in goal and for all the negative attention he has received, he has held his own in the series with a GAA of 2.81 and SV% of .930. There are so many narratives tonight and speaking of Keith and Smith this could be their last rodeo if they lose tonight. That should give them a little extra motivation for sure.

On the Kings' side, it’s a lot of the same -- questions about the future. Dustin Brown has already said it’s over after the season and goaltender Jonathan Quick may not be far behind. The Kings didn’t expect to be in this position to start the season, but here they are one game away from advancing to the Conference semi-finals. There is still no update on the status of winger Viktor Arvidsson so he may be out again and the offense he brings will be sorely missed. In his absence though, the Kings have managed to score 15 goals in the series. I have a feeling they will need more than three goals per game tonight against a desperate Oilers team. I’m not certain who will end up winning this series but I am very confident that Edmonton rises to the occasion this evening. Take the Oilers on the Money Line.

The Pick

Edmonton Oilers Money Line (-130 on PointsBet)


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Josh Wagner

A 2017 graduate of the Clarion University of Pennsylvania, a lifetime lover of hockey and a diehard Penguins fan, Wagner's longtime hobby and knowledge of sports betting has now become a profession. Helping people make a little extra cash is now the goal of everything he writes. You can also find him on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio as a producer on the channel talking fantasy sports and legal sports wagering.