Ducks vs. Kings NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction (November 30)
Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: John Gibson
- The Kings are favored at home against division rival Anaheim on Tuesday nights.
- Both teams have performed better than expected with young rosters so far this season.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.
Ducks vs. Kings Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Two teams looking to transition from rebuilding seasons to playoff contention will meet Tuesday night as the Kings welcome rival Anaheim to the Staples center.
Both Pacific division squads have realistic aspirations to return to the postseason after multi-year droughts, but are likely fighting for the same Western wild-card spots with Calgary, Edmonton and Vegas likely to lock down 1-3 in the division.
This showdown likely offers a meaningful four point swing, with a regulation win boosting the Ducks’ playoff chances by 4.2%, according to our friends at MoneyPuck.
Young Ducks Have Been Surprising, Fun
A record of 11-8-3 a quarter of the way through the season has Dallas Eakins’ upstart young core sitting in the third and final playoff spot in the Pacific division, and you can just feel the positive energy around this young Ducks core.
Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale were expected to be exciting stories for the Ducks this season, but Troy Terry’s explosion skating alongside aging captain Ryan Getzlaf has been a surprising source of offense.
Sonny Milano has posted 13 points in 17 contests since being recalled from the AHL, and the Ducks have gone from being the league’s worst offense last season, to the 10th-best goals per game mark this season, and considering the young pieces carrying the load, the future looks bright for Anaheim.
I certainly would expect the Ducks to look towards their main guy to start in goal in John Gibson here, who likely only offers slightly lesser numbers than backup Anthony Stolarz due to his drawing the tougher starts this season.
Gibson has posted a .917 save% with a -2.0 goals saved above expected rating, which are probably somewhat harsh, and I would expect to see those numbers improve somewhat over a larger sample size.
Kings’ Weakness Is Defense
Drew Doughty’s early injury was an especially frustrating one for both he and the Kings as the star defender had been enjoying a significant bounce-back season. Couple that loss with the injury of underrated defender Sean Walker, and the Kings are certainly skating some defenders more minutes than they would prefer.
Olli Maatta continues to be a liability defensively, showing horribly to the “eye test” and with a 40.3 xGF%, and altogether the left side offers shaky depth, as Tobias Bjornfot is probably slotted one unit too high on the top pair, although the 20-year-old does appear to be developing nicely.
The defensive depth is likely the Kings’ weakest area, and a 2.68 xGA/60 in November certainly indicates better defensive play team-wide will be necessary going forward for the team to break their playoff drought.
Sean Durzi, a second-round pick in 2018, has shown well over his first two games of the season, posting three points and potentially offering Los Angeles some unexpected upside on the back-end.
Up front, the Kings have been far from a powerhouse, with the league’s 25th best goals for per game average at 2.60, and not exactly offering the deepest forward core either.
Some of the young pieces have shown well at times, and a little more consistency from talented pieces like Arthur Kaliyev and Alex Iafallo would serve a boost to the Kings, But the for the time being the group isn’t overly intimidating.
Viktor Arvidsson could serve a notable scoring boost to the Kings’ second line alongside Phillip Danault, as he continues to find his form of late after a battle with COVID and has posted three points over the last two games.
At age 35, Jonathon Quick has turned back the clock, posting some excellent numbers in the early going this season, with a .928 save % and +7.1 goals saved above expected rating across games this season. He should start Tuesday.
Ducks vs. Kings Pick
These two teams are in similar spots this year, looking to transition from purely developmental rosters to playoff contention, and they should likely finish close together in points come completion of 82 games.
So far the early results have been comparable, but the Ducks appear to offer slightly more upside, specifically on the back-end with Doughty’s and Walker’s injuries, and a few more pieces in better form offensively.
The Ducks have posted an 8-4 record so far throughout November, with a strong 51.21 xGF% throughout those contests, while the Kings have managed a 6-3-2 record, with just a 46.62 xGF%. The Ducks own a +9 goal differential, while the Kings sit at -1.
I see this one much closer to 50/50, and if anything maybe slightly better than that for the Ducks. Therefore at +113, I certainly feel that Anaheim hold some value and would play it down to +100.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks +113 (Play to +100)