NHL Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction: Los Angeles Kings vs. Washington Capitals (October 22)
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Fiala.
- The Capitals host the Kings and are looking to get on tack after a slow start to the season.
- Meanwhile, the Kings also lost their previous game, but are loaded with young talent.
- Nick Martin previews the game and shares his best bet below.
Kings vs. Capitals Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Two teams coming off embarrassing losses will meet Saturday, when the Capitals host the Kings at Capital One Arena.
Washington came out of the gates firing versus Ottawa and took an early 2-0 lead. Yet from there, Ottawa tilted the ice and ultimately won, 5-2.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles was never in its contest with the Penguins on Thursday. The Kings fell behind 3-0 in the first period and lost 6-1.
Washington hasn’t looked strong in the early going this season, but are the Capitals due for a better outing at home?
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings have seen more defensive miscues from young talents Sean Durzi and Mikey Anderson than we might expect moving forward, but that flaw should go away over a bigger sample, and I still feel the Kings hold a sneaky strong defense corps.
Even with some key pieces not displaying top form to this point, Los Angeles has played to a respectable 3-3-0 considering the competition faced. Also, the Kings have done so while managing a very steady 50.46 xGF% across all strengths.
Los Angeles features a number of young talents with the potential to pop off as this season moves along. In the early going, it has been Gabriel Vilardi breaking through with a surprisingly brilliant start.
Skating alongside Alex Iafallo and Quinton Byfield on what could be a stellar third line, Vilardi has effectively used his elite release to generate four goals and three assists.
He will not produce at that elite level all season, but it appears likely the Kings will find steady offensive production in their newly formed top trio of Adrian Kempe, Anze Kopitar and Kevin Fiala.
That could mean Los Angeles holds somewhat of a higher ceiling than some may expect this season and the Kings greatest concern is likely in goal with its duo of Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick.
Quick was the better of the two options last season and has found more success in the early going this year, albeit with a still poor -1.9 goals saved above expected rating and an .892 save % throughout four appearances.
The Capitals play to start this season has been quite discouraging and uneven.
The Capitals need to see better play from a number of aging stars, who will likely be the difference moving forward on whether the Capitals miss the postseason for just the second time since the 2007-08 season.
Alex Ovechkin has looked far from dynamic to this point and his massive four-point night in a messy game against the Canucks is hiding that fact.
John Carlson has been an even larger problem, offering up a ton of very obvious mistakes both on the powerplay and at even strength. To put it bluntly, the Capitals aren’t going anywhere this season if the 32-year-old defender continues to play poorly.
The Capitals were also always going to be highly reliant on right-wing Connor Brown in the early going this season as they await the return of Tom Wilson. Therefore, an injury to Brown prior to Wilson’s return is somewhat of a disaster.
I believe see Coach Peter Laviolette decide this is a spot to get backup net-minder Charlie Lindgren back into action, but confirmation on that will come Saturday at the morning skate.
Lindgren was brilliant in Washington’s 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, stopping 38-of-39 shots faced on route to +1.4 goals saved above expected rating in that contest.
Kings vs. Capitals Pick
Washington put together another uneven performance Thursday night in Ottawa and seems to be having a hard time settling into the season.
More importantly to this specific matchup, I believe the Kings could be better than people expect and will find success in a suddenly deep Pacific division.
It’s worth noting that I firmly believe Lindgren is likely to be underrated this season and, from a handicapping perspective, confirmation of him playing over Darcy Kuemper should not move the moneyline and total price as much as it inevitably will.
The Kings are a deep team with a ton of young talent and — considering what we have seen from each of these teams in the early going — it’s very apparent that Los Angeles holds more value in this spot priced at +115. I wouldn’t lower my threshold below +110, even if Lindgren starts.
Pick: Los Angeles Kings +115