Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Seattle Kraken vs. Anaheim Ducks Betting Preview
Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Calle Jarnkrok
- The Kraken are underdogs coming off a disappointing loss to the Coyotes on Wednesday.
- The Ducks come out of the All-Star break red-hot, but is regression coming?
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.
Kraken vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Seattle’s tough inaugural season may have hit a new low Wednesday in a 5-2 home loss to the Coyotes, and it will look to respond against an Anaheim team still holding a surprising playoff spot out of the West.
Can Seattle catch Anaheim off guard here after the All-Star break?
Kraken Have Been Sneakily Competitive
Seattle’s loss to Arizona on Wednesday was surprising, but that result may wind up leading to the market undervaluing the Kraken when, overall, they have been competing respectably recently.
Seattle put together a 3-3-0 stretch prior to that contest in a very tough spot in their schedule, with wins over Florida, Pittsburgh and the Islanders, as well as closely contested one-goal losses against the Rangers and Bruins.
The Kraken’s offensive talent is certainly among the worst in the league, but a 51.02 xGF% over the last 30 days is a firm comment that the club is still competing at a respectable level.
Admittedly I was dead wrong about the Kraken coming into the season, as I expected them to fight for a playoff spot, but I still feel that the six bodies currently dressing on the back end actually produce a really solid top-to-bottom unit.
The Kraken hold the league’s fourth-best xGA/60 rate over the last 10 games, and the strength of the defensive unit has gone a long way in helping to produce that rate.
The Kraken aren’t world beaters up front by any means — producing the league’s 25th best offensive production so far and not appearing likely to trend upward anytime soon — but they have shown the ability to keep games within striking distance, as we’ve seen recently.
Philipp Grubauer will likely start and has been the main causation toward the Kraken’s dreadful results, owning the league’s worst goals saved above expected rating at -24.5 with an .887 save %.
Regression Coming for Ducks?
The All-Star break came at a bad time for the Ducks, who had fully kicked things back into gear over a 4-0-2 stretch of play, with wins over Tampa, Boston, Montreal and Ottawa.
A 45.10% expected goals rate over that span certainly suggests some puck luck during that span, however, and they weren’t performing quite as well as the record suggested.
The Ducks are no doubt having a very positive season, but I do feel they are somewhat of a regression candidate down the stretch, and that the roster is still a little away from being ready to truly compete now.
John Gibson could go a long ways to proving me wrong however, as the 28-year-old has the ability to play at a level only a handful of goalies in the league can match. He has been strong once again this season with +13.0 goals saved above expected and a .922 save % throughout 33 games played this season.
At the current line of -150 (DraftKings, bet365), I expect action to come in heavy on Anaheim, and I think that if you’re going to look toward the Ducks here you might as well do so now because I can’t see it getting much better.
However since my belief is that this looks like a potential letdown spot for the Ducks, I’m going to be waiting until close to game-time looking for a better line, and then backing a Kraken upset.
Over the last month, Seattle has put together a considerably better expected goals rate than Anaheim (7.53%), and although that means far from everything, it’s a comment that these team’s could be skating more closely than we would assume.
I will look for Seattle to hang around and make this one a coin-flip and am happy to have them at plus money.
Pick: Seattle Kraken +130 Or Better, Wait Until Game-Time
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