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Edmonton Oilers vs LA Kings Series Preview and Odds

Edmonton Oilers vs LA Kings

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally here, and once again it will be the Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings in round one. Lately, the Oilers have had the Kings number. However, the Kings is hoping that after a relatively disappointing season, they can change their fortunes in the playoffs. Let’s breakdown the matchup and highlight some key areas each team will need to focus on in the Edmonton Oilers vs LA Kings series.

Edmonton Oilers vs LA Kings Odd and Promos

Heading into the series, the Edmonton Oilers are currently sitting as -190 favourites, courtesy of FanDuel. The Kings on the other hand, currently have +158 odds to win the series. This equates to roughly a 38% implied odds, meaning that Edmonton clearly is getting the edge here.

This is fitting given that each team had their struggles in the regular season, but Edmonton showed a much larger high-end talent that reminded everyone why they were thought of as Stanley Cup favourites while entering the season.

Edmonton Oilers vs LA Kings 2023-24 Season


The Edmonton Oilers had a wild start to the 2023-24 season. They started the season losing 13 of their first 18 games. This led to a goalie change when Jack Campbell was sent down to the minors for good. But it also led to a coaching change. Jay Woodcroft was relieved of his duties on November 12th, and Kris Knoblauch was brought in to take over the 3-9-1 Oilers team. Many thought this may be a risky move. However, it turned out to be a great decision as the Oilers would win eight games in a row in November. They followed that up with a 16 game winning streak later on in the season, which gave them home-ice advantage here.

Connor McDavid had a slow start for his standards. However, once he became fully healthy he morphed back into the player we know. McDavid notched 100 assists this season, becoming just the fourth-ever player to do it (with Nikita Kucherov soon becoming the 5th). Zach Hyman potted a whopping 54 goals for the team this season as well. Regardless, the biggest change was finding confidence in the net. Stuart Skinner has taken over the starter’s role, and that was massive for this Edmonton team.

They now role into playoffs with a deep team, rounded out by deadline acquisitions such as Adam Henrique. On top of that, the blueline looks stronger than it has in years past, with Evan Bouchard stepping into his role as a number one defenceman.


The LA Kings got off to an opposite start as Edmonton. LA won 16 of their first 23 games this season. However, they cooled off as the year went on, losing 14 of 16 while stumbling into the break. This led to Todd McLellan being let go and Jim Hiller talking over. Since then, the Kings have been up and down. On paper, this team has all kinds of talent. However, on the ice it just hasn’t translated as well.

Their goaltending was a question mark heading into the year but has overall, been very good. Cam Talbot and Dave Rittich have played incredibly well at times this season. LA finished the year with a very respectable 99 points. However, given how wild some of their swings were, it felt like a disappointment. Especially for a team that was looking to take the next step in being a contender. Offseason addition Pierre-Luc Dubois has not worked out as the team would have hoped. However, Quinton Byfield had a breakout season. LA will need both of them in this series.

Edmonton Oilers vs LA Kings Keys to the Series

What the Oilers Need to Do

The Edmonton Oilers are the better team in this series. This makes what they need to do a lot easier. Edmonton needs to play their game. Use the speed and skill on their lineup to overwhelm the Kings defenders. The biggest highlight upfront will be Leon Draisaitl. He has been a playoff performer in the past, and coming off of a weirdly quiet 106-point season, he can be the punch that knocks the Kings out. If the Oilers keep McDavid and Draisaitl separated, the Kings will have to make some tough choices of who gets the number one matchup, leaving the other line to takeover.

Defensively, the Oilers need to remember to play simply. Effectively move the puck up the ice to the skilled forwards. In transition, watch the front of the net, and let your top-end talent take over the series. One big note will be Evander Kane in this series. He has struggled all year and did not skate on the weekend. If they can add his depth scoring, that will be an issue for the Kings.

What the Kings Need to Do

What the Kings will badly need, is some depth scoring. Only six players had more than 50 points this season, and none of them had more than 75. In contrast, Edmonton had five players, but four of them were over 75. If the Kings want to win this battle, depth is what will need to take over as that lacked at times this season. Especially when they are still outmatched at the top of their roster.

The good thing is that the Kings should be perfectly setup to deploy that depth. Even with Dubois’s struggles, this team boasts a lot of talent. Byfield, Kevin Fiala, Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault, Adrien Kempe, and Viktor Arvidsson. That is plenty of names that if deployed correctly, can be an issue for the other team.

The Kings will also need a vintage series from Drew Doughty. Doughty will be asked to log a lot of effective minutes, like he did so often during LA’s cup wins that were somehow already a decade ago.

Predictions and Best Bets

This should be a very interesting series to watch. It was clear that LA wanted to target high-end talent this offseason to matchup against the Oilers. However, the Oilers still have such a clear edge in that department. For that reason, we are predicting Edmonton Oilers vs LA Kings ends with an Oilers win, in six games.

Looking at some best bets, you can get Draisaitl at +500 to be the leading scorer in this series. Given his history, even with McDavid playing, that feels like strong value. Looking at the moneyline, the game to circle is Game 3 for LA Kings moneyline. Back at home, they will likely have dropped at least one in Edmonton and will be hungry to take a stranglehold on the series or keep their hopes alive.

Main Photo: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports


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