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Avalanche vs. Oilers NHL Game 4 odds, betting trends: Heavy action over total despite offensive stars Nazem Kadri, Evander Kane out

Two key offensive players will sit tonight's West Finals Game 4 between the Avalanche and Oilers.
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Up 3-0 in the NHL's Western Conference Finals, the Colorado Avalanche would advance to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2001 with a victory tonight at the Edmonton Oilers. The Avalanche will be missing some major firepower in forward Nazem Kadri, and Andre Burakovsky may sit out as well. The Oilers won't be at full strength, either, with NHL postseason goal-scoring leader Evander Kane suspended. Despite all that, bettors at Caesars Sportsbook are leaning heavily over the total of 6.5 goals. There are some books out there where it's at 7. (See tickets at StubHub

Kadri left Game 3 on Saturday night after he was hit from behind by Kane, who got a five-minute major for boarding after cross-checking Kadri into the end boards just 1:04 into the matchup. Kadri will miss the rest of this series at least with a reportedly broken thumb. Kadri was third on the Avalanche in the regular-season with 87 points and is fourth in the playoffs with 14. J.T. Compher moved up to center the line with Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen in Game 3 and scored the game-winning goal in the third period.

It's no surprise that the league suspended Kane for Game 4 because he has a bit of a checkered past with this kind of thing. The league cited Kane's history -- three previous suspensions and two fines -- as factors in its final ruling. Kane has 13 goals and 17 points -- including two hat tricks -- in these playoffs.

"I was coming in on the back check. I knew he likes to reverse hit," Kane said. "I was just trying to get up on him, that's really all I did. Unfortunately, he went into the boards awkwardly and hurt his hand. That was unfortunate."

Burakovsky has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury suffered in Game 1. He might play after skating Sunday. Burakovsky had 61 points in the regular season and five in nine playoff games. 

Seventy-three percent of money wagered on the total tonight is on the over as are 61 percent of the tickets. On the moneyline, with Colorado at -135, the Avs are taking 60 percent of tickets and 58 percent of money.

The Avalanche are 6-0 on the road in these playoffs. Starting netminder Darcy Kuemper left Game 1 with an upper-body injury and hasn't played since. He was on the ice for Sunday's optional practice and for the start of this morning's skate, but it likely will be Pavel Francouz in net again tonight. Coach Jared Bednar avoided questions this morning about Kuemper's and Burakovsky's health and availability.

Teams that take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven hold an all-time series record of 198-4. Teams that take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven when starting at home hold an all-time series record of 144-3. The Avalanche can become the ninth team since 1985 to sweep a conference finals/semifinals series. Of those eight previous instances, three went on to subsequently win the Stanley Cup. Colorado is a -200 favorite to win the Cup. Edmonton is +6000

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