Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks Betting Preview
Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings
- The Anaheim Ducks host the Los Angeles Kings in the second iteration of this cross-town rivalry this season.
- High stakes and teams playing well could make this a playoff-style affair, which explains why oddsmakers are dubbing it a Pick'em game.
- However, Carol Scham thinks one team has the clear edge. Read on to find her prediction and play below for the matchup.
Kings vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
For the second time this season, the I-5 Freeway Faceoff is set to go down. This edition will be played at Honda Center on Friday night.
Back on Nov. 30, Kevin Shattenkirk scored the shootout winner to give the Anaheim Ducks a 5-4 road win over the Los Angeles Kings. This time, the Ducks will be hosting — but the oddsmakers are expecting the game to be just as tightly contested.
Here’s the latest on both clubs, and my pick for the game.
Los Angeles Kings Looking For Crown
With a record of 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, the Kings are the second-hottest team in the Western Conference, behind the Calgary Flames. This will be the finale of a four-game road stint where they’ve gone a perfect 3-0-0 so far, with one game against Vegas and two against Arizona. And they’ve climbed into third place in the Western Conference, three points clear of Edmonton and Anaheim, with two games in hand on the Ducks.
A playoff appearance for the first time in four years is looking increasingly likely, and this L.A. group looks like it will be well-suited for the postseason. The Kings are a top-10 team defensively, allowing 2.76 goals per game, and their Corsi against rate at five-on-five is second only to Boston, at 50.31 events per 60. Offense was expected to be an issue, but the Kings have gotten a breakout campaign from Adrian Kempe, who’s up to a career-high 23 goals. Captain Anze Kopitar has been his usual reliable self, with 47 points in 51 games while still averaging nearly 21 minutes of ice time at age 34.
While the Kings have been using both their goalies regularly, Cal Petersen earned both wins in Arizona this week. Jonathan Quick has been off since winning in Vegas last Friday, so he’s likely to get the nod for the big game in Anaheim. Authoring an impressive bounce-back campaign at age 36, Quick is 13-10-6 with a .911 save percentage, 2.61 goals-against average and 14.2 goals saved above expected this season.
The Kings are relatively healthy, just missing defensemen Alex Edler and Sean Walker with long-term injury issues.
Anaheim Ducks Need Win
The Ducks are coming into Friday’s game on a two-game winning streak, after opening a six-game homestand with a 4-3 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. And while their record of 5-3-2 over their last 10 games looks decent, the Ducks came out of the All-Star break with four straight losses and have slipped a bit in the standings, now outside the playoff picture.
So, it’s getting close to desperation time. If Friday’s two points are important for the Kings, they’re monumental for the Ducks, who have fewer games remaining than any other postseason contender in the West.
After making six straight appearances, No. 1 netminder John Gibson was given the night off against San Jose on Tuesday. He looked uncharacteristically shaky in his last three outings on the road in Western Canada, where he gave up 15 goals for a save percentage of .815 and a goals-against average of 6.09. After nearly a week without game action, he should also be refreshed and ready to go.
Up front, rookie Trevor Zegras has been playing well, with six point in his last three games. Veteran Adam Henrique is also riding a three-game point streak, back to contributing after missing 20 games with a lower-body injury. Captain Ryan Getzlaf returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing two games with a lower-body issue, leaving only defenseman Josh Manson (finger) on the injured list.
Kings vs. Ducks Pick
This game means a great deal to both the Kings and the Ducks — natural geographic rivals who could very well find themselves duking it out for the same playoff spot at the end of the season.
In the standings and by recent record, Los Angeles holds a slight edge. But Anaheim has home-ice advantage. Hence, the pick’em from the oddsmakers.
The combination of the high stakes and two well-rested, battle-tested netminders could make this a low-scoring, playoff-style affair. But 5.5 is an awfully low number, given both teams’ recent runs of results.
This one could once again go beyond 60 minutes. Follow the numbers and back the Kings on the moneyline, by the narrowest of margins.
Pick: Kings Moneyline | Bet to: -120