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Best NHL Game Props Tuesday: Early Scoring in Oilers-Avalanche

The Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche kick things off on Tuesday, with both teams looking to make the Cup final after extended absences away. Here's the best prop bets for the day.
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Cale Makar and Connor McDavid

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The Colorado Avalanche will host the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night with both teams looking to undo years of defeat.

The Avalanche are big favorites when it comes to NHL betting, but anything can happen. And if NHL betting lines aren’t your thing, there are plenty of prop bets to consider for every game the rest of the way.

Here are two to consider for Tuesday.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche: Both Teams to Score in the First Period +140

Goals have been flowing naturally for both teams this postseason.

Edmonton has the top two point-getters and top goalscorer in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evander Kane. The Avalanche also have elite producers with five different skaters averaging a point per game in these playoffs and 11 players with at least five points. There’s no hiding the skill in these lineups, which should lead to early scoring from both teams in Game 1.

Edmonton and Colorado are the two highest-scoring teams this postseason.

The Oilers have a modest advantage in goal scoring, averaging 4.33 goals per game, marginally higher than the Avs’ 4.30. Edmonton came out of the gates hot all season, with McDavid and Draisaitl ranking first and fourth in first-period goals. They’ve maintained that pace into the playoffs, finding the back of the net nine times through their first 12 games in the opening stanza.

The Avalanche have looked even more impressive early in games, tallying 12 times and recording first-period goals in six of their 10 matchups. This postseason, part of the Avs game plan has been to assert themselves early, forcing their opponents to try and keep pace. Don’t expect them to deviate from what got them here against an Oilers squad that doesn’t have any breaks.

Similar game plans and abundant skills should help both teams score in the first period.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche: Both Teams to Score Three or More Goals +130

I am not expecting the offense to be limited to the first period. Both teams have a knack for scoring, while Mike Smith and Darcy Kuemper have looked suspect at times in these playoffs. That should help both teams reach three goals in the series opener.

Kuemper hasn’t been tested frequently, with the Avs allowing just 27 shots per game. However, Kuemper is stopping just 90.4% of attempts. His struggles date back to the regular season, with the 32-year-old recording a .895 save percentage over his last 17 appearances.

Overall, Smith has looked better than Kuemper this postseason. Despite facing the second-most shots, Smith has a respectable .927 save percentage. Still, the veteran netminder has been prone to bad outings, allowing three or more goals in seven of his 12 games. He’s also struggled in both Game 1s this postseason, allowing a 7.17 goals-against average while stopping just 84.4% of shots.

Edmonton and Colorado have scored at will in the playoffs, and that’s not going to change in Game 1 on Tuesday, which is reflected in the total being set at seven. Both teams scoring in the first would go a long way to helping these Western Conference rivals make it to three goals each.

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