Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Los Angeles Kings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Preview
Justin K. Aller/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tristan Jarry.
- The Kings play their third road game in four days as they travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday.
- Los Angeles topped the Penguins earlier this month but are +170 underdogs.
- Tony Sartori breaks down the game and gives his top pick.
Kings vs. Penguins Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Following Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Kings continue their road trip and travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Metropolitan Division’s first-place Penguins. These two teams squared off in Los Angeles on January 13th as the Kings took care of business in a 6-2 victory.
Will history repeat itself, or can the Penguins get revenge defending their home rink?
Tired Kings Continue Eastern Road Trip
The Los Angeles Kings are entering the second half of a road back-to-back following yesterday’s overtime loss to the Flyers. We could see some tired legs from the Kings’ skaters, especially with this being their third road game in the last four days.
Slow starts on the second half of back-to-backs have been a story for the Kings all season. Their first-period record on the second half of back-to-backs this season is 0-5-3.
As a whole, the Kings are playing with fire by giving up a lot of dangerous chances as they have the third-highest average expected goal value of opposing 5-on-5 shot attempts. This is especially concerning considering the Penguins have one of the deepest forward groups in hockey.
Los Angeles will be rolling with backup goaltender Cal Petersen since starter Jonathan Quick played Saturday. Petersen has been average at best this season, posting a 0.901 SV%. In terms of the slow starts mentioned earlier, Petersen has lost three of the last four first periods.
Penguins Seek Revenge Win Over L.A.
The Penguins will look to get revenge against Los Angeles following their bad loss against the Kings earlier this month. This task should not be too difficult for them, as the Penguins are better than the Kings in almost every single metric.
Pittsburgh has a better 5-on-5 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF), 5-on-5 expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA), high-danger chances for, and high-danger chances against. This game will be a good spot to get their revenge win as they are catching the Kings in the second half of a road back-to-back starting their backup goaltender.
Tristan Jarry is expected to start in the crease for the Penguins here, and he has been spectacular this season. Jarry boasts a 0.926 SV% and ranks eighth among starting goaltenders in 5-on-5 goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx).
Not only are the Penguins in a revenge spot against Los Angeles, but they are also in need of a statement bounce-back win following two overtime losses to Seattle and Detroit. I personally do not see Pittsburgh losing three straight home games to bottom-tier teams.
Kings vs. Penguins Pick
The metrics back the Penguins as they hold the advantage over Los Angeles in all of the main categories. The goaltending matchup favors the Penguins as Jarry is much stronger than Petersen. The trends favor Pittsburgh, as it has won 17 of its last 21 games.
To take the Penguins moneyline, you will have to lay over two dollars. So there is no value there, however, taking them on the first period moneyline gets the odds up to (+135).
I will take those odds for the Penguins to come out strong in a revenge spot against a team on the second half of a road back-to-back playing its third game in four days.
Pick: Penguins 1P ML (+135) | Play up to +120