Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers Best Player Props
After an offensive outburst in Game 1, the tone of the Western Conference Final shifted in the next two games. The Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche emphasized defense to limit each other’s, top offensive players. Fewer quality chances resulted in fewer goals, and the best players were held in check. It would be unwise to expect anything differently tonight, as the Oilers try to fend off the Avs and force the series back to Denver for a Game 5 on Wednesday.
Tonight could be a good opportunity for role players to find the scoresheet.
Evan Bouchard Over 0.5 Points (+135)
Edmonton needs to offset the loss of their top goal scorer now that Evander Kane has been suspended for Game 4. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can’t bite off much more, so the Oilers will need to get more out of their secondary scorers, particularly on the backend.
One player to focus on is Evan Bouchard. The former first-round selection completed his first full NHL season, recording 43 points in 81 games. He’s maintained that production in the playoffs, leading the Oilers blueliners in goals and points, averaging just over 18 minutes per game. Edmonton consistently deploys Bouchard with their best players while working him in on the top powerplay unit. Still, there’s a disconnect between Bouchard’s metrics and output, suggesting that he could see a boost in scoring.
Through 15 playoff games, the rearguard has an expected goals-for rating of 53.7% across all strengths, exceeding his actual rating of 47.1%. Similarly, his on-ice PDO is below average, with the 22-year-old posting a combined shooting and save percentage of 0.979. Bouchard remains below the expected, and with the rest of his relative metrics above 50.0%, we should see his PDO and actual goals-for rating work up towards average.
The Oilers start Bouchard in the attacking zone 54.0% of the time, and he’s delivered so far this postseason. Nevertheless, there’s still room for growth from him, and at +135, it’s worth betting Bouchard finds his way onto the scoresheet in Game 4.
Mikko Rantanen Over 3.5 Shots (+125)
Avs’ forward Mikko Rantanen has been a cornerstone of their offensive production over the last few seasons. As we saw on Saturday night, the Finnish forward can put the team on his back and drive the offensive bus. Rantanen finished the game with one goal on eight shots, the second time over the past three games in which he surpassed three shots on target. There’s a good chance he surpasses that benchmark again in Game 4, and it’s worth betting he does.
Rantanen started the playoffs slow, totaling just six shots in Colorado’s opening-round sweep of the Nashville Predators. Since then, the winger has had 32 shots over his last nine games, including 15 through the first three games of the series. It’s evident the Avalanche are trying to get more out of their top scorer, and the Oilers haven’t had an answer.
Analytically, Rantanen continues to rank as one of the best Avs players. He leads the forwards’ corps in expected goals-for rating and gets 68.8% of his starts in the attacking zone. Factoring in the nearly four minutes of powerplay time he gets per game, Rantanen will have plenty of chances to continue his offensive assault on the Oilers.
Colorado continues to turn to their best players this postseason, and they have given Rantanen the green light to fire at will. That should lead to another solid offensive performance, with Rantanen eclipsing his 3.5 shot prop.
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