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NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Kings vs. Coyotes (February 23)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Kings vs. Coyotes (February 23) article feature image
Credit:

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Quick.

  • The Kings beat the Coyotes on Saturday and are road favorites in Glendale on Wednesday night.
  • The Coyotes are coming off of an impressive upset win over the Stars. Can they pull off another stunner against the Kings?
  • Nick Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Kings vs. Coyotes Odds

Kings Odds -215
Coyotes Odds +180
Over/Under 6
Time 10 p.m. ET
TV TNT
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Los Angeles will return to Arizona to take on the Coyotes yet again, having bested them 5-3 Saturday night.

Arizona played host to a red-hot Stars team the following night, and managed a very strong 3-1 win as a massive underdog. Can they put together a better effort against the Kings here and claim another victory?

Arizona Has Suddenly Become Profitable

Coach Andre Tourigny’s young Coyotes have settled into a more scrappy run of form, and Sunday’s win over Dallas was a firm testament to that. The solid 3-1 win was surely more well-played from the Coyotes than the expected goals result suggests.

A 3-4-0 record in February may not seem overly impressive, but the schedule has featured very tough contests against the Avalanche, Flames, and Lightning. From a handicapping standpoint, the Coyotes have simply been more scrappy than the wildly long lines have suggested. If someone had backed the Coyotes over the entirety of that stretch, they would be up 4.25 units.

Karel Vejmelka will likely start here between the pipes, having been solid this season when given acceptable team play. I would argue that a .900 save percentage and -11.0 goals saved above expected rating throughout his 31 games played has been more of a comment on the Coyotes struggles, especially as GSAx always seems to track unfavorably to goalies on truly bad teams offering more dangerous breakdowns.

Kings Attack Lacks Ruthless Scorers

Los Angeles continue to take big strides forward this season. A combination of strong team defense and a very solid goaltending duo has this young group at 26-17-7 with an 84.4% chance at the playoffs according to MoneyPuck.

My take here is really not to slight the Kings’ play, which has been sound, but if there is one flaw it’s that they do still hold some subpar finishers. Los Angeles sits 18th in the league in regards to offensive production.

Los Angeles will enter this one at essentially full health, missing no relevant pieces of late. I believe the Kings will likely go with Jonathan Quick in goal, who has sat since Friday’s win over Vegas.

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Kings vs. Coyotes Pick

Los Angeles is no doubt the better club and has been in strong run of play, but to me this line is still opening at too long of a number when we consider the nature of the NHL.

Arizona is coming off one of its sharpest efforts of the season, a very deserving win over a Stars team in the midst of an excellent run itself. It’s a close league, and you have to be careful when looking towards these contests featuring a very heavy favorite.

A similarly strong team game from Arizona here would not make me comfortable laying this massive number with Los Angeles at all. It also offers a good example of why constant reevaluation is the way to succeed handicapping the NHL.

When both teams play at such a level in hockey, games will become more or less a coin flip. I think this is going to be one of those spots, where Arizona plays a strong team game and likely manages the complete defensive breakdowns and creating a game that sees us begrudgingly holding a -230 ticket for the Kings.

As well, Los Angeles doesn’t hold a wealth of truly deadly finishers. I could see this being a contest where Arizona control less of the play but still manages to keep the Kings to a reasonable offensive output. That means I’d lean toward Under 6 at -120, as well with regards to a total.

Arizona has been a profitable underdog this month, and I see value taking a shot on the Coyotes as a massive underdog here.

Pick: Arizona Coyotes +195 (Play to +180)

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