Brooms Out: Can the Kings Avoid Being Swept?
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Viva Las Vegas! The Vegas Golden Knights are one win away from sweeping their opening-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. The expansion team beat the Kings, 3-2, Sunday in Los Angeles for its first road playoff victory.
Game 4 is Tuesday night (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN). The Golden Knights have the brooms out, can the Kings avoid being swept?
Since 2005, using the Bet Labs software, teams down 0-3 have gone 26-20 (56.5%) straight-up in Game 4. One might think the Kings have an advantage playing the elimination game in LA, but home ice hasn’t mattered much. Teams trying to avoid the sweep have gone 15-12 (55.6%) in front of the home crowd. This is in line with the win rate for all home teams in the playoffs: 591-468 (55.8%).
A better predictor of success is the betting line. The best way to know if a team on the verge of being swept will live to play another day is if it is favored to win. Teams down 0-3 that are the betting favorite in Game 4 have gone 11-4 (73.3%) straight-up since 2005. It is a small sample, but favorites trying to avoid the sweep have won at a higher rate than the chalk in the rest of the playoffs: 624-420 (59.8%).
There have been 186 NHL playoff series where a team gets down 0-3; only four times have those squads come back to win the series. The Kings are one of those four teams, rallying to beat San Jose in the first-round in 2014.
I don’t expect the LA to rally to the next round. However, don’t be surprised if the Kings win Game 4. They opened as -130 favorites (Track live numbers here).
Photo: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA Today Sports