NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Blue Jackets vs. Kings (April 16)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: The Kings celebrate a goal.
- The Kings are home favorites tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
- Both teams can score the puck, have have had trouble stopping it for most of this season.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Blue Jackets vs. Kings Odds
|Blue Jackets Odds||+160|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Metropolitan Division’s sixth-place Columbus Blue Jackets travel to Los Angeles to take on the Pacific Division’s third-place Kings. This is the second meeting this season between these two teams as the Kings won the first matchup 4-3 back at the beginning of March.
Will we get another high-scoring affair between these two teams, or can the goaltending step up this time around?
Blue Jackets Struggle to Stop Scoring
The Columbus Blue Jackets enter this contest following Wednesday night’s 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Columbus’ offense struck loud once again as it is averaging 3.75 goals scored over its last four games.
On the other hand, Columbus’ defense and goaltending have not been doing too well recently as the Blue Jackets have allowed an average of 3.5 goals per game over their last eight contests. This season, the Blue Jackets rank just 31st in the league in five-on-five expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA).
Elvis Merzlikins is the projected starting goaltender for Columbus and has not performed well between the pipes recently. Merzlikins has now given up three or more goals in eight of his last 10 starts with his only dominant start coming against the Philadelphia Flyers, a team much worse than the Kings.
On the road this season, Merzlikins has seen a decrease in his production as his save percentage drops to 0.900 when playing away from home. In his one game against the Kings this season, Merzlikins allowed four goals on 43 shots.
Kings Have Shaky Goaltending
The Los Angeles Kings enter this game following Wednesday night’s 9-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Wednesday’s tilt was yet another high-scoring game for the Kings as they have seen seven or more total goals scored in each of their last three contests.
I think this trend continues in this game as Cal Petersen is the projected starting goaltender for the Kings and has not delivered recently. Petersen has now allowed six goals in two straight appearances and has allowed three or more goals in four of his last six outings.
Over that stretch, Petersen possesses a mere 0.864 save percentage. However, the Kings should expect to keep getting great offensive production in front of him.
Los Angeles is averaging 3.67 goals scored over their last three games, a figure that could continue to grow. This season, the Kings rank ninth in the league in five-on-five expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF).
Blue Jackets vs. Kings Pick
With the projected Merzlikins versus Petersen goaltending matchup, this game should not struggle to get to at least seven total goals. These two teams possess competent offenses that should generate a high-paced game.
Just like their last outing, I think this matchup goes over the total.
Pick: Blue Jackets/Kings o6.5 (-110) | Play up to (-120)