NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Blackhawks vs. Kings (April 21)

NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Blackhawks vs. Kings (April 21) article feature image

Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Moore

  • The Kings are huge home favorites tonight against the Blackhawks.
  • Los Angeles is pushing toward the postseason, while Chicago is just playing out the string in a disappointing season.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Blackhawks vs. Kings Odds

Blackhawks Odds+200
Kings Odds-250
Time10:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Chicago Blackhawks skated Wednesday night in Arizona, managing a rare, 4-3 overtime win behind Alex DeBrincat's 40th goal of the season. They will now head in to Crypto.com Arena for a much tougher challenge, as the Kings will be desperate to put the finishing touches on a return to the postseason.

With Vegas's massive overtime victory Wednesday night, the Kings enter this game three points up on the Knights for third in the Pacific, and we can expect Los Angeles to bring a playoff intensity to this one.

In previous seasons it may have looked pretty surprising to see the Kings priced as a -225 favorite over the Hawks in game 79 of the season, but is that number fair this year?

Blackhawks Skating Out the Season

A win over lowly Arizona really shouldn't steer us away from the fact that the Blackhawks have been arguably as bad as anybody in the league over the last month.

Even with that win, Chicago is just 2-8-2 over its last 12 games, and the play has looked pretty sloppy for most of that period. The Blackhawks have lost by two or more six times in that 12 game span, including a 5-2 thrashing against these Kings on April 12th.

They hold the second-worst expected goals rate in the league throughout the month of April at 37.88%, only better than the team they beat last night in the Coyotes. The five points earned throughout April have all come past regulation against lowly competition, and it's safe to say Chicago really is just skating out the season.

The Hawks feature some very shaky pieces on the blue-line, and it seems the pairings are getting shuffled almost nightly with no signs of better results coming.

The goaltending has been far from good behind those defensive struggles, although I'm sure a lot of strong goaltenders would be putting up far worse numbers playing behind this team, which we saw with Marc-Andre Fleury all season.

Collin Delia should get this start, and has played to a -3.7 goals saved above expected rating with an .898 save % throughout 6 games played this season.

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Kings Primed For Postseason

Contrary to what we see from Chicago with its consistent defensive breakdowns, the Kings are well capable of providing their goaltenders a better-than-average chance to post reasonable numbers.

Over the last 10 games Los Angeles has allowed a xGA/60 rate of 2.81, and a lot of nights that solid rate seems to run in line with the eye test. The Kings have generated effectively at the other end during that stretch, and altogether have a 53.34 xGF% during the last 10 contests.

They have an excellent pair of two-way centers in Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault, who lead the charge for a forward core that is quietly irritating to play against.

Even without both pieces of what was an elite top defensive pairing in Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson, the Kings are still icing a very capable unit, which is quite a comment on their promising young future.

All three current right side defenders in Matt Roy, Sean Durzi and Jordan Spence are quite underrated, and have gone a long ways in helping this team continue to find success of recent.

Jonathan Quick will likely get the start for Los Angeles, and has been sharp at age 36 this season, earning himself a +15.6 GSAx rating with a .909 save % throughout 43 games played.

Blackhawks vs. Kings Pick

Los Angeles has been playing some fundamentally sound hockey at both ends of the ice, and should be likely to build on that solid form skating in a big spot on home ice here against a lowly Blackhawks team.

Chicago has allowed the opposition to cover the puck-line in eight of its last 12 games, and to still get plus money here for it to happen yet again in what was a pretty tough spot holds some clear value.

We can safely expect Los Angeles to carry much more of the play in this one and make life very hard for the Hawks' defense. Los Angeles will come with a heavy forecheck, and we should see a defensive core with awful puck-management falter and allow some high-quality chances.

I think we are definitely seeing Los Angeles winning by two or more a higher percentage of the time than a line of +115 suggests, and this looks a good time to ride what has been an abnormally profitable market down the stretch of this season being the puck-line.

Pick: Los Angeles Kings -1.5 +115 (Play to +100)

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