NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Wild (October 15)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Wild (October 15) article feature image

Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Kings standout Anze Kopitar.

  • The Wild host the Kings on Friday night.
  • Minnesota won two of three games between these teams last season, will it be more of the same this year?
  • Tony Sartori previews the game and shares his best bet below.

Kings vs. Wild Odds

Kings Odds+145
Wild Odds-170
Over/Under6 (-110/-110)
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Central Division's Minnesota Wild host the Pacific Division's Los Angeles Kings as each team searches for its first win of the season. Last year, Minnesota won two of the three meetings between these two teams.

Will the Wild take care of business once again, or can the Kings pull off the upset as a road underdog?

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Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings were one of the top ATS bets last season, going 50-32 against the number as books constantly undervalued just how good this team was. At 5v5, the Kings ranked eighth in the league in expected goals for (xGF) and 11th in expected goals against (xGA) last year.

We are going to buy low on Los Angeles after its 0-2 start to the season. Both of those games were hard-fought divisional matchups, which were both a couple of bounces away from being better outcomes.

Since this is the first half of a back-to-back, it's still a question as to whether Jonathan Quick or Cal Petersen will take the crease for the Kings. However, I trust both guys.

Let's start with Quick. Last season, he produced a .910 SV% and 2.59 GAA.

Among starting goaltenders, he ranked third in the league in 5v5 goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60). In his past four starts against Minnesota, Quick boasts a .941 SV% and 1.78 GAA.

Los Angeles is 3-1 ATS across those four contests. On the other hand, Petersen also had a strong year as he would have ranked seventh among starting goaltenders in 5v5 GSAx/60.

Across his five career starts against the Wild, the Kings have gone 3-2 ATS.

Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild may take a slight step back this season. While they should definitely still be a playoff team, the losses of Kevin Fiala, Dmitry Kulikov and Cam Talbot have left this team a little thinner.

Additionally, forward Jordan Greenway is slated to miss this game due to an upper-body injury. Going back to the pieces who left over the off-season, the Talbot departure is the most concerning as I don't trust either of Minnesota's goaltenders on a consistent basis.

The Wild are also on the first half of a back-to-back, so we don't know if they are going to start Marc-Andre Fleury or Filip Gustavsson. Last season, Fleury was wildly inconsistent as he ranked just 24th among starting goaltenders in 5v5 GSAx/60.

That inconsistent play has stretched into this season as he got rocked by the Rangers in Minnesota's first game, allowing seven goals on 35 shots. Over his past four starts against the Kings, Fleury possesses a .897 SV% and 3.06 GAA.

If he doesn't get the start, then fading the Wild could be an even stronger play as Gustavsson would take the net. Last year, he would have ranked 28th among starting goaltenders in 5v5 GSAx/60.

Kings vs. Wild Pick

While Minnesota went 2-1 against Los Angeles last year, the Kings were 2-1 ATS. In fact, they are 6-4 ATS over their past 10 games against the Wild.

We are going to back Los Angeles once again here and take the goal-and-a-half. I trust the Quick/Petersen tandem more than the Fleury/Gustavsson one.

Despite starting 0-2, I believe Los Angeles looked better in both of those games than the Wild did in their opener against the Rangers. This game should be a toss-up, which makes me think the Kings' puck line is the strongest play on the board.

Pick: Los Angeles Kings +1.5 (-180) | Play up to (-190)

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