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NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Avalanche vs. Kings (March 15)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Avalanche vs. Kings (March 15) article feature image
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Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan MacKinnon.

  • The Avalanche are favored tonight in Los Angeles after a big bounce-back win.
  • Colorado won 3-0 over Calgary and now faces a depleted Kings roster.
  • Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Avalanche vs. Kings Odds

Team Odds -200
Team Odds +170
Over/Under 6 (-115 / -105)
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After losing four of out of five games, the Colorado Avalanche pushed back with a firm 3-0 victory over the scorching-hot Calgary Flames team on Sunday. The Avs will look to build on that momentum on Monday night against a depleted Los Angeles Kings roster.

The Kings did manage to hold off the mighty Panthers on Sunday, however. Can they do it again as a heavy underdog on Tuesday with their current makeshift roster?

Colorado Coming Off Bounce-Back Performance

It was clear from the first drop of the puck on Sunday that Colorado was the better team against Calgary. The Avs played to their strengths and created lots of good chances as they looked to make a statement.

Nathan MacKinnon broke through with two key goals before an empty netter made it 3-0, but I thought a number of players on the Avs roster looked quite dangerous outside of MacKinnon, who obviously grabbed the headlines. I think we are due to see some of the lesser names contribute more offensively, and that this small blip on the radar scoring wise for the Avs is simply not likely to continue with the talent on hand.

Colorado won by three actual goals but the expected goals tally was 2.95-2.40, which was unfair to the overall play of the game. I think we are going to see Colorado put forth similar efforts moving forward and find lots of comfortable wins after a small downswing, which I feel was just a natural ebb and flow in the long trek through 82 games.

I feel comfortable that this Avs lineup is going to continue to dominate while short two big pieces in captain Gabriel Landeskog and a quietly tremendous player in defender Samuel Girard. Those absences will offer a chance for some secondary pieces who are very much capable to help bear the load for the cup favorite Avs.

The Avalanche made a great deal for defender Josh Manson on Monday, and he’ll likely slot right into the lineup here for his debut. He’s certainly not Samuel Girard, but Manson should be quite useful to help solidify the Colorado blue line, especially in the short term.

The Avs have not confirmed a starting goaltender for this contest, but Pavel Francouz, who will start should Colorado rest Darcy Kuemper, has been a strong secondary option so the ultimate decision is not crucial from a handicapping perspective.

Kuemper holds a +17.8 Goals Saved Above Expected rating (GSAx) with a .922 save percentage in 42 games. Francouz, meanwhile, has a +2.40 GSAx with a .920 save percentage in 14 games played.

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Kings Show Off Their Gritty Side

Los Angeles enters after what was truly a gutsy effort on Sunday, managing a shootout win against Florida after a late game-tying goal from Martin Frk with the goalie pulled.

Frk was only in the contest due to injuries up front for the Kings and has since been sent back to the AHL, which means we should likely see one of the missing forwards returning for the contest. That player won’t be Viktor Arvidsson, though.

The Kings could remain without some key pieces on the back end, as well, such as Mikey Anderson, who is week-to-week, Drew Doughty, who is day-to-day, and Matt Roy, who is also day-to-day. Los Angeles will likely remain without several key players in this game.

The absences of those key defenders allowed Sean Durzi to shine yet again for the Kings. Durzi played an excellent contest and has quietly been tremendous this season. He’s another of the young players that has this Kings rebuild looking very strong moving forward.

With that said, the roster will be in very tough shape on Tuesday against the waves of talent Colorado possesses on offense. I wouldn’t count on this Kings current roster being able to hang around, though, just because of Sunday’s result against Florida.

Jonathan Quick will likely get the start for the Kings here, and has been very solid this season with a +11.7 GSAx and a .908 save percentage in 34 games this season.

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Avalanche vs. Kings Pick

Los Angeles hung in well against the mighty Panthers with a diminished lineup, but it seems unlikely to me that they can replicate that task again here against Colorado.

The Avalanche put forth a dominant performance against Calgary on Sunday. I think we will see them come out flying again here, really making life tough on Los Angeles’ defensive core, especially if Doughty and Roy are out.

I like this spot for the Avs to put together another dominant performance, and I think getting a price of +125 for them to cover -1.5 certainly holds some value. I’d play that down to +110.

Pick: Colorado Avalanche -1.5 (+125)

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