NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Red Wings (October 17)
Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Kings player Kevin Fiala
- The Kings and Red Wings meet in what should be one of Monday's more intriguing NHL matchups.
- Los Angeles has struggled defensively while Detroit is off to a 2-0 start this season.
- Below, Nicholas Martin breaks down the prop bet and total that he's targeting for the game.
Kings vs. Red Wings Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+110|
|Over/Under||6.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Each side features a number of exciting young talents who will look to continue taking strides forward at the NHL level this season, and I believe this matchup could quietly be one of the better ones out of the entire nine-game slate tonight.
Let's take a look at some of the important talking points from each side entering this matchup.
Defense a Concern for Los Angeles Kings
The Kings' defensive play has certainly been very concerning throughout the season's first three contests.
Los Angeles has played to a 3.79 xGA/60 rating during that span, which is a very alarming mark even in a small sample size.
Young defenders such as Sean Durzi, whom I absolutely loved as a player last year and am very high on, have been exposed whole making some high-profile mistakes.
Even with just a .903 save %, Jon Quick has played to a 0.2 Goals saved above expected rating this season, which is a clear comment to the quality of chances against that LA is allowing throughout three games, and we should see Quick start tonight.
Led by the top unit of Kevin Fiala, Anze Kopitar, and Adrian Kempe, the Kings offense broke out against Minnesota.
LA's top trio combined for nine points in that contest, and each member of the unit finished with an xGF% above 69, which is impressive against a Minnesota team that typically holds strong underlying metrics.
And For Kevin Fiala in particular, his three-point performance surely felt amazing. The Wild at times did not entirely grant Fiala as prominent of a role as you might expect, ultimately leading to his arrival in Los Angeles last offseason.
Many people expect a full-fledged breakout from Fiala this season with Los Angeles, as the 26-year-old Swiss native is now positioned to skate on the top powerplay and top forward unit for a large period. And many would argue he owns a skill set that dictates he has been due for such a role.
Detroit Red Wings off to Strong Start
The early returns on GM Steve Yzerman's offseason moves have been strong. The Red Wings have won both contests in relatively convincing fashion, playing to a +6 goal differential and an xGF% of 57.21 across all strengths.
David Perron played a strong contest Saturday against New Jersey, and between him and a healthy Jakub Vrana, the Red Wings' second line appears likely to take massive steps forward this season.
Which would be a significant boost, as a year ago one of the Red Wings' greatest concerns was a lack of players moving the needle offensively outside of the top trio of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond.
Bertuzzi is day-to-day. That originally had me believing Jakub Vrana was a tremendous target for player props tonight since he would then project as the Red Wings' top left winger, and he's already being undervalued in the prop market this season.
Yet with Vrana officially announced as a surprise scratch, that play is it out the window, and Detroit is now lacking some notable scoring punch from the lineup in this contest.
However, the Red Wings have played strong defensively in the early going of this season with an xGA/60 of just 2.87, and factoring in that with a slight edge in goal if Ville Husso is confirmed as the starter, and the Red Wings may remain more in the mix to claim a third straight win than I believe some may predict.
Detroit's bottom two lines offensively could end up being significantly stronger as well this season, and in particular, the early play of rookie Elmer Soderblom warrants a comment. He has been tremendous at both ends of the ice.
The play of Michael Rasmussen and Joe Veleno has been strong as well albeit in easy matchups against Montreal and New Jersey, and continued strong play from the bottom six could help Detroit's improved defensive play continue this season.
Another note that I will happily add in here: Watch for Derek Lalonde.
Kings vs. Red Wings Pick
This contest likely will be far from the most-watched matchup on Monday's packed NHL slate, but it should be a sneaky good affair between two up-and-coming young rosters that I will have my eye on often in the early going this season.
Perhaps with the possibility that Vrana and Bertuzzi could be out for Detroit, I see a little value with Los Angeles, and if you got -120 early on, I would surely be happy. But this is mainly just a contest in which I would like to gather some info on the teams' early form from a sides perspective.
However, I do see some value while looking at the player prop market and the idea of backing Kevin Fiala to keep scoring at a higher rate this season than a year ago.
Fiala's massive performance against his former side surely felt great, and seeing him being able to carry some momentum into this contest with the Red Wings seems very logical.
Fiala is priced at -152 to record a point in this contest on FanDuel, and I like a play on him to manage at least one point down to -160.
Pick: Kevin Fiala Over 0.5 Points -152 (Play to -160), Under 6.5 -113