NHL Western Conference Finals Bets: Stars vs Oilers Game 1 Picks

NHL Western Conference Finals Bets: Stars vs Oilers Game 1 Picks

This article is part of our NHL Picks series.

NHL Picks: Edmonton Oilers at 
Dallas Stars  
Game 1 NHL Best Bets and Player Props

The Edmonton Oilers and the Dallas Stars meet in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on TNT.

The latest NHL odds for the playoffs and the Stanley Cup odds are updated throughout the postseason as the Conference Finals get underway. The BetMGM bonus code now gets new players a first-bet offer worth up to $1,500, allowing them to get in on the action for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The NHL's version of the Final Four kicked off last night, as the Florida Panthers went into Madison Square Garden and took down the New York Rangers 3-0 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference best-of-seven series. Now, it's time for the Western Conference Finals to get underway.

The Edmonton Oilers just played a grueling series against the provincial neighbor Vancouver Canucks. It was just the third-ever meeting in the postseason, and hopefully we get more. That was an entertaining series. Edmonton erased a 3-2 series hole to win the decisive Game 7 in Vancouver, earning a trip to Dallas.

The Dallas Stars have been impressive in these playoffs. Not only did the Stars show the defending champ Vegas Golden Knights the door in the first round, winning in seven games, Dallas ousted the high-octane Colorado Avalanche in six games in a seesaw affair.

Head coach Kris Knoblauch made some interesting moves with his goaltending duo in the series, and the combination works. He benched All-Stars Stuart Skinner after two periods of Game 3 after allowing four goals on 15 shots in a 4-3 loss. Calvin Pickard started his first-ever NHL postseason game, and won in Game 4. He wasn't back in Game 5, but Knoblauch went back to Skinner for Game 6 back in Edmonton.

A rejuvenated and reinvigorated Skinner kicked aside 14 of the 15 shots he faced in a 5-1 rout of the Canucks in Game 6, and he and the Oilers held on 3-2 in Game 7, earning the trip to Big D.

Vancouver didn't take a ton of shots in the series, but you can expect Skinner and the defense to see a lot more rubber coming their way. The Stars averaged 3.6 goals per game in the regular season, ranking 3rd in the NHL, while squeezing off 31.6 shots on goal per game. That figure was good for 11th in the regular season. And the power play operated at a 24.2% success rate, good for 6th in the NHL.

Edmonton led the league with 33.8 shots on goal per game in the regular season, so Jake Oettinger will be tasked with plenty of saves, too. And the Oilers were 26.3% on the power play, so we have two units who know how to take advantage when drawing a penalty.

In this Game 1, it should be all about home ice. However, Dallas is 0-2 in two games at home in the series opener. Let's back the underdog lightly in Game 1.

NHL Moneyline Bets for Oilers at Stars

  • Oilers ML (+110 at DraftKings)

The public is getting a little crazy on the total. We've had substantial movement to the Over, with nearly three-quarters of the bets, and two-thirds of the money, going with a total Over 5.5 or 6 goals.

We saw in Game 1 of the Panthers-Rangers that trends mean absolutely nothing when it comes to the conference finals. The Over was on a 19-0-1 run in the past 20 meetings in Florida-New York dating back to 2016, but Sergei Bobrovsky didn't care about that. He pitched a shutout, and the total went low in Game 1.

Will we see a similar low-scoring affair in the Metroplex? I hate to side with the public. Vegas didn't get a bunch of palatial casinos because of losing to Joey Public. But early on in a series, we tend to see a lot of offense before physicality, defense and good goaltending show up, and teams start to be more conservative on offense.

With these two high-octane power-play units, I have to reluctantly roll with the public in Game 1, going high.

NHL Totals Bets for Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars

  • Over 6 (-110 at Caesars)

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NHL Player Props for Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars

Looking to the player props, we struck out on half of the Anytime Goal Scorer (AGS) props last night in Game 1 of Panthers-Rangers, although Matthew Tkachuk not only cashed as an AGS, he scored first goal, if you were adventurous, and played that +1200 prop. We'll go with two more AGS plays tonight.

For the home side, the 21-year-old pivot Wyatt Johnston has really made a name for himself in these playoffs. He registered 32 goals and 65 points in the regular season, so Dallas fans, and serious hockey fans, knew all about him. But he has introduced himself to fans who might not have watched a lot of Dallas Stars hockey. While he was scoreless in the final two games of the Colorado series, he has managed seven goals and 11 points in the 13 postseason games. At plus-money, he's a good bet.

As far as the visitors are concerned, defenseman Evan Bouchard had a whale of a series against Vancouver, pun totally intended. Sorry, Canucks fans. He went for four goals and 11 points in the seven-game set, while posting three helpers on the man advantage. He has five goals and 20 points, and could get some Conn Smythe attention if Edmonton goes all the way, although Zach Hyman, and many others, might have something to say about that.

Anyway, if Bouchard lights the lamp, he'll help you multiply up by 4 1/2 times. That's too tough to pass up. If you're a little more conservative, and you can toss this into a Same-Game Parlay, for Bouchard to record just a single point is -200 at FanDuel, and if you're a little more aggressive, Bouchard to Record 2+ points is +240.

BONUS - Same-Game Parlay +404 (at FanDuel)

Let's get it!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Dobish
Hockey writer, unskilled fourth liner, fantasy and gambling industry veteran, handicapper, FSWA's 2011 fantasy hockey writer of the year nominee and four-time FSWA award winner. Twitter: @danieledobish
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