Monday NHL Odds, Preview & Prediction for Kings vs. Sharks (Jan. 17)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images. Pictured: Mikey Anderson.
- Los Angeles and San Jose meet for a Pacific Division matinee on MLK Day.
- While both teams are playoff contenders and priced fairly evenly, the Kings have offered more defensive consistency.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Kings vs. Sharks Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (+105o / -125u)|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Monday’s MLK Day matinee will offer a huge opportunity for both of these clubs to strengthen their playoff aspirations, as it’s very realistic they could be fighting for the same spot out of the Pacific Division.
However, the Kings might be looking upwards to the top of the division rather than the playoff cutoff, as their fourth consecutive victory Saturday in Seattle moves them within three games of Vegas for the division lead.
Will Los Angeles be able to build on its recent dominance here, or can San Jose earn the winning result it deserved last time out against Pittsburgh?
Kings Have Been Red Hot
Los Angeles’ four-game winning streak has been a run of pure dominance, with four multi-goal victories coming alongside a 61.60 xGF%.
Thursday’s 6-2 victory over the Pens certainly turned my head, with the Kings speed and aggressiveness prominent in creating far more opportunities, before ultimately breaking through with a massive win.
They followed that up with a well played game in Seattle against a Kraken group desperate to snap a lengthy home losing streak, controlling play to an expected goals score of 3.84 to 2.41.
Mikey Anderson has come into his own of late skating alongside Drew Doughty who has effectively settled back into the lineup. The notably strong top defensive pair holds an xGF% of 59.0 throughout 293 minutes together this season.
Philipp Danault continues to post some excellent defensive play from the middle of the ice. True to form, he has done a great job against the opposition’s best offensive units of late alongside Viktor Arvidsson on a strong second line.
Altogether the Kings have played a very sharp team game of late, and I do think this could be somewhat of a high watermark with regards to form. I also like the way they matchup against a top-heavy Sharks lineup.
Jonathan Quick has been stellar this season at age 35, with a +18.1 goals saved above expected rating and a .921 save % throughout 23 games played this season.
Sharks’ Offensive Production Is Lacking
My speculation around this Sharks team has been that the quality of their defensive play has been widely boosted due to the poor quality of competition faced. It still projects to be a concern, big picture.
Well, they certainly proved me wrong, albeit for just one night against the Penguins on Saturday, holding Pittsburgh’s potent attack to just one goal in regulation.
But the game exposed another flaw for a team that I continue to feel is again going to fall short of the postseason this year. The scoring talent offered behind the big names up top like Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier is simply lacking.
The Sharks hold the league’s 24th worst goals for per game rating at 3.03, while holding just the league’s 23rd best offensive production at 2.69 goals for per game.
The result has been a -13 goal differential, and it’s easy to say that currently holding a mark above .500 could be generous to their play at times.
Part of that boosted record has come with the solid play of James Reimer in goal, who could return here having backed up Saturday.
Reimer has posted a +1.6 goals saved above expected rating with a .916 save % throughout 20 games played this season.
Kings vs. Sharks Pick
Fading San Jose against more competent teams has continued to be very profitable of late, and although its effort against Pittsburgh was very strong, I still feel that this sets up as another good spot to go back against the Sharks.
Let’s not forget the Kings terrorized those Penguins 6-2 two nights earlier, in what was yet another notably strong effort. The Sharks still exposed their own lesser offensive scoring ability in making Pens backup Louis Domingue look like a superstar.
To me, neither of these teams are as strong as their current place in the standings suggests, but even more so looking towards the Sharks. I feel they are overvalued here priced at close to pick-em, with LA having produced consistently better defensive play this season with similar offensive results.
Los Angeles offers a more complete makeup, and I like their chances to control the Sharks top two offensive units at 5-on-5 here and continue its torrid run of play.
I feel that we have enough of an edge here to have value backing the Kings to keep their win streak rolling at -115, and I would back them down to -130. I lean towards the under, as well, should we see Reimer vs. Quick, but I don’t quite see enough value at 5.5, in what will likely be a tightly-contested divisional battle. More so I just don’t see plus-money at 5.5 as the treat some might expect in an NHL season where cashing under 5.5’s has been tough.
Pick: Los Angeles Kings -115