Kings-Wild Betting Preview: The NHL’s Slowest Teams Meet in Minnesota
Orlando Ramirez, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dustin Brown
Betting odds: Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild
- Kings moneyline: +150
- Wild moneyline: -170
- Over/Under: 5.5
- Channel: NBCSN
- Puck Drop: 8 p.m. ET
2018-19 NHL Record: 31-34, +8.32 units
>> All odds as of 12 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
The Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild, two of the NHL’s most lumbering teams, will meet on national television on Tuesday night.
In fact the Kings and Wild rank last and second-to-last, respectively, in “expected goals (xG) pace.” That doesn’t sound like a recipe for an exciting encounter tonight but that doesn’t mean there’s not some value in this one.
Los Angeles ranks 28th in the NHL in expected goals for per 60 minutes, averaging 2.17 xGF/60, but rank in the top 10 in xGA/60 and have the third-highest expected save percentage (xSV%) at 5v5. The Kings, who aren’t very good, have a clear strength — their defense.
The same can be said of the Wild, who are better than the Kings. Minnesota ranks first in the NHL in xGA/60 (2.01) and in xSV% but are mediocre in terms of generating offense.
While I think the Wild are the better team and should be favored, this line is off. Minnesota is on the second night of a back-to-back and playing its sixth game in nine nights. Neither of those things bode well for Bruce Boudreau’s team.
The Kings should also have the edge in goal, no matter who plays for either team. Devan Dubnyk started for the Wild last night in Philadelphia but was chased after allowing five goals on 20 shots. Alex Stalock replaced Dubnyk and is the likely starter as most teams avoid starting the same goalies on back-to-backs, but either way the Kings should feel good about the netminding matchup.
So why is this line so high if the Wild are playing in a “schedule-loss” spot? One look at the standings would clear that question up. The Kings are tied for last place in the NHL with the Senators while Minnesota currently occupies a playoff spot.
Betting on bad teams is never fun, but it’s part of gambling. This is a great spot to play a decent-sized underdog and I’d play Los Angeles all the way down to +130.
The Bet: Los Angeles Kings +150