The NHL playoff field could shrink dramatically on Thursday night. There are four Game 6s on tap, meaning four teams could see their seasons end tonight.
As usual, we're prepping bettors for the action with a run through some of our highest-rated plays. These are the wagers we're looking at from our daily projections.
Under 6.5 (-118): 3-Star Rating out of 5
Disappointment and the Edmonton Oilers go hand-in-hand in the postseason. Things aren't looking up for the Oilers as they try to stave off elimination against the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have played a shutdown defensive style on home ice, and the focus will be neutralizing the Oilers' top performers, something they've done effectively this series.
LA has bottled up the Oilers' five-on-five scoring, with Edmonton netting one or fewer goals in three of their five games. The Oilers' two-headed monster of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl has been handcuffed, with McDavid recording just four points at five-on-five through the first five games and Draisaitl chipping in with two. The Kings' ability to hamper the Oilers duo is amplified at Crypto.com Arena, where they can line match to keep the Oilers' top scorers in check.
We also can't look past the performances from Jonathan Quick, who has come up big for the Kings in clutch moments. Quick's traditional metrics have looked pedestrian, but he passes the eye test, making several critical saves when needed.
The Kings' best chance to move on to the next round comes with an improved defensive effort. Limiting the OIlers' attack will be a focus as LA looks for a second-round berth in the postseason for the first time since their Cup victory in 2014. Backing the under is the highest-rated play in this one, per our projections, coming in with a three-star rating.
Wild +1.5 (-260): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
The St. Louis Blues mounted a furious late comeback in Game 5, staking themselves to a 3-2 series lead over the Minnesota Wild. However, that game followed a similar script from what we've seen from the Blues throughout this series -- St. Louis keeps finding ways to win games despite getting outplayed.
The Wild have outplayed the Blues in four of five games, posting the fourth-best expected goals-for rating at five-on-five. Minnesota's dominance is best reflected in their individual game scores, with the Wild eclipsing the 60.0% threshold in three of their five games.
Minnesota is dominating the Blues on both ends of the ice, out-chancing them in high-danger chances in three of five games. The Wild have attempted 11 or more quality opportunities in three contests while limiting the Blues to six or fewer in four of the games
Improved defensive efficiency hasn't prevented scoring, with the Wild giving up 10 goals over the past two games, with six of those coming at five-on-five. Marc-Andre Fleury has a proven track record in the playoffs, but his 90.6% save percentage is below his career average of 91.3%. We're anticipating an improved effort from Fleury with the Wild on the brink.
The Blues can't continue to get outplayed and win games. Minnesota is due for a few good breaks and a bounce-back performance from their netminder. If they can't win, they should at least be able to keep things close, and that's reflected in our projections. The Wild on the puckline is a two-star play.