Things change so quickly in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
For most of Monday night, it looked like the Edmonton Oilers were going to cruise to a victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Oilers were up two goals going into the third period and were ahead, 3-1, with less than 10 minutes to go in regulation, but a last-minute goal from Anze Kopitar sent the contest to overtime, where the Kings would win it.
It was a gut-punch for the Oilers, but there’s still plenty of time for Edmonton to fight its way back into this series.
Kings vs. Oilers pick
Edmonton closed as a -230 favorite on Monday night and chalk-eaters looked like they were on their way to an easy cash before things went awry.
That sets up an interesting conundrum for bettors in Game 2.
Do you bet into the bounce-back narrative?
Or is this another case of the Oilers capitulating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
What makes Game 1 such a painful loss for the Oilers is that they looked every bit like the elite team we’ve seen over the last two months of the regular season through the first 50 minutes on Monday night.
The Oilers didn’t necessarily dominate the game, but they took what the Kings gave them and were committed defensively, so to see everything unravel because of a couple of mistakes was hard to watch for anyone who laid the wood on the favorite.
Despite the loss, there was more good than bad to take away from that game for the Oilers.
They outshot the Kings, 40-35, despite leading by two goals for most of the game and Los Angeles getting three more power plays.
The 5-on-5 expected goals ended up 3.3 to 1.8 in favor of the Oilers, too.
It was a classic case of an underdog hanging around long enough to capitalize on a couple of mistakes and getting out of the arena with a win.
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After essentially running through the league over the last six weeks of the season, one loss shouldn’t change your tune about the Oilers.
Edmonton has played like a legitimate Stanley Cup favorite for the lion’s share of the second half and showed plenty of good signs in Game 1.
The Oilers are a fine bet to come back and win the series at -128 and if you’re feeling froggy you could back them to win by 1.5 games at +180.
Kings vs. Oilers prediction
Oilers to win the series (-128) or Oilers -1.5 games (BetRivers)
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