Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings Betting Preview (Nov. 5)

Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings Betting Preview (Nov. 5) article feature image

Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Anze Kopitar

  • The Los Angeles Kings journey east to face the New Jersey Devils in Friday's NHL action.
  • Jonny Lazarus thinks the visitors have a good shot to triumph as road underdogs.
  • Check out below why he's landed on this wager.

Devils vs. Kings Odds

Devils Odds+105
Kings Odds-125
Time10:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Devils had a ton of hype heading into this season after a flurry of moves, including signing the best free agent on the market, Dougie Hamilton. Hamilton joined a team led by Jack Hughes, who looked prime for a huge season two years after being drafted No. 1 overall. Hamilton is questionable on Friday night, while Hughes is out for months after dislocating his shoulder.

New Jersey will travel to Los Angeles as slight underdogs against the Kings, who have skated to a 4-5-1 start.

The Devils Need a Stop

Even without Hughes, the Devils have put up some decent results. New Jersey is 4-3-1, but has a -3 goal differential and is coming off a shutout loss against the Ducks.

You could argue the Devils have been a bit unlucky, as their 54.04% expected goals rate is the seventh-best mark in the NHL, per MoneyPuck. Surprisingly, it's New Jersey's offense that has been driving the bus in that regard.

The Devils lead the NHL with 2.93 expected goals per 60 minutes, but are 25th with 2.63 expected goals against per 60. That type of play puts some pressure on the goaltenders, and with Mackenzie Blackwood missing the first part of the season, New Jersey's netminders have not held up. The Devils rank 26th in save percentage this season.

The Kings Are Streaky

After dropping six in a row, the Kings now find themselves in the midst of a three-game winning streak. And while their overall record isn't that impressive, Los Angeles has posted some strong underlying metrics, suggesting some strong results could be on the horizon for this team if it can get better finishing and goaltending.

The Kings rank 11th in expected goals rate (52.1%) and sixth in high-danger chance rate (56.6%), meaning they are creating more scoring chances than they are giving up on a nightly basis. Los Angeles' lack of talent up front is an issue, however, as only Anze Kopitar and Alex Iafallo have more than two goals on the season.

This was supposed to be the season that Cal Petersen took over for Jonathan Quick in Los Angeles' blue paint, but goaltending is weird and it's actually been Quick who has been the stronger goalie in the early part of the season. While Petersen has struggled to a -2.3 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx), Quick has a +1.07 GSAx and a .916 SV%.

Kings vs. Devils Pick

Bookmakers are expecting this to be a tight one with the Kings listed as a slight home favorite at the time of writing. I think that is a fair assumption, but I like taking a chance on Los Angeles with Hamilton questionable for this game.

Hamilton is one of the best play-drivers in the NHL and if he is out, I expect the Kings — who have been decent at controlling play to start the season — to have the lion's share of the chances.

Pick: Los Angeles Kings -140 or better

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