NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Avalanche (April 13)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado Avalanche standout Cale Makar.
- The Colorado Avalanche host the Los Angeles Kings in Wednesday's NHL matchup.
- The mighty Avalanche. who are heavy -250 moneyline favorites, are an unreal 28-4-3 on home ice this season.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game below and explains why he's backing Colorado.
Kings vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Los Angeles took advantage of some soft competition Tuesday in Chicago and claimed two must-have points. The Kings snapped a three-game losing streak with the win and now hold a three point lead over Vegas for the last playoff spot in the Pacific Division.
Heading in to Colorado for the second leg of a back-to-back set has to be considered the toughest spot a team can face this season, as the Avalanche have played to a ridiculous 28-4-3 record on home ice.
The Kings have a lot more on the line, but will that be cause enough to find a way past the league’s best? Let’s take a look at the matchup below.
Los Angeles Kings
What the Kings’ developing young roster has done while battling a ton of injuries has certainly been impressive and I think a lot of people would enjoy seeing the club achieve a hard-earned playoff berth.
Playing without the once elite defensive pairing of Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson, Los Angeles has continued to control play effectively of late.
The franchise has played to an excellent 54.21 expected goals rate of late, earning a reputation of being a tough opponent. However contrary to their opposition, it’s clear the Kings hold less scoring talent and offensive creativity.
The Kings have a -39.3 goals for above expected rating and I’ve continued to argue from the get-go they’re great candidates to score below the expected rate. Altogether, they’ve played to a 21st-best 2.84 goals for per game mark.
And that’s not to dismiss Los Angeles is clearly a good, even underrated team, but just to point out that it might not be as elite as the analytics suggest.
Cal Petersen will likely get the start and has played to a -4.9 goals saved above expected rating with an .899 save in 35 games.
Even having faced some worse than average injury luck, Colorado has put together one of the more dominant years in recent memory and is on pace to surpass 120 points.
Two excellent forwards in Nazem Kadri and Gabriel Landeskog will remain sidelined, but with Samuel Girard and Bowen Byram healthy again on the blue line and the rest of the forward corps intact, it’s a more complete roster than we have often seen this season.
Every time a crucial roster piece comes out of this lineup, it just seems to be a opportunity to shine some light on another player capable of stepping up. Even without Kadri, the Avalanche still have a solid second line led by the Valeri Nichushkin and deadline acquisition Arturri Lehkonen.
The defense core is among the deepest in hockey, especially with Samuel Girard back in the mix after a steady return Saturday against Edmonton.
Colorado’s roster dictates that it should be hockey’s best team and has been exactly that so far. Yet, the side has been somewhat less dominant, playing to a strong — but not excellent — 51.97 xG rate over its last five games.
That has allowed another crucial piece to steal some limelight in goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who has been spectacular of late, including a 49-save victory Saturday in Edmonton. Kuemper holds a +24.8 goals saved above expected rating with a .927 save percentage in 50 games played this season.
Kings vs Avalanche Pick:
Scoring talent and goaltending are two of the most critical factors in deciding games, and should the Avalanche only control play at about a 50/50 share here, those key advantages should still be enough for a comfortable win.
This is a much bigger spot for the Kings, but I feel confident we will still see Colorado’s elite talent shine and that backing the team to cover the Puck Line at +105 holds value. I’d would make a smaller play with that to start.
I’ve noticed in several similar spots to this one that weaker teams hang around early before seeing the stronger club eventually breakthrough. Something similar happening in this game looks possible to me, so I’m also going to evaluate in-play betting options as well.
With regard to a total, I lean toward the game staying under the number and would at least suggest staying away from the other side of that wager. Both teams have produced some better-than-average defensive play of late and we should likely see that continue in this spot.
Pick: Colorado -1.5 (+105)
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