NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Ducks

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Ducks article feature image

Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Fiala of the Los Angeles Kings.

  • The Los Angeles Kings make the short trip to take on the Anaheim Ducks in Friday night NHL action.
  • The Kings enter as massive favorites over the Ducks, but Nick Martin sees betting value on the over/under.
  • Check out Martin's full betting breakdown and pick for Kings vs. Ducks below.

Kings vs. Ducks Odds

Kings Odds-255
Ducks Odds+205
Over/Under6.5 (-122 / +100)
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Kings sit just three points behind Vegas in the Pacific Division race and are making a strong case for general manager Rob Blake to add some meaningful pieces before the NHL trade deadline.

Priced as a significant favorite of -250, they will look to continue a hot stretch offensively as they head to Anaheim for a date with the league's worst defense.

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Los Angeles Kings

The addition of Kevin Fiala via trade last summer was a strong signal that Los Angeles was in win-now mode. On paper, Fiala offered an X-factor offensively that the Kings had been lacking.

The fit has been seamless thus far, as Fiala is pacing a deep Kings offense with a point-per-game average 55 games into the season. He also leads the team in zone entries per 60 minutes, shots on goal, points per 60 and shots on goal.

Los Angeles' power play has thrived, ranking fourth in the league at 25.1%. It should be a handful for an Anaheim penalty kill that has succeeded just 74% of the time this season.

Defensively, Los Angeles has been in the upper third of the league by most meaningful metrics, but its level of dominance has been somewhat hidden due to suspect goaltending.

Pheonix Copley has been a massive stabilizer in goal since arriving in December, simply by offering a .903 save percentage and +4.0 GSAx in 22 games played.

Backup Jonathan Quick has offered significantly worse results than Copley and could start tonight with this being Game 1 of a back-to-back. Tomorrow night's contest against Arizona is actually the tougher battle on paper, which could be another note suggesting Quick may play tonight's matchup.

Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim's defensive play has been consistently treacherous this season, which has been well-covered and seemingly well-acknowledged.

What has seemingly been less covered is how awful the Ducks' goaltending situation has truly been. That's the other key factor in their league-worst goals against per game average of 4.13.

Lukas Dostal started in goal Tuesday versus Buffalo, and the result was an extremely shaky performance in which he allowed seven goals.

It's logical to think we will see the Ducks turn back to John Gibson for this matchup, as he's quietly been in treacherous form through a large sample size.

Gibson has played to a -10.2 GSAx rating in 37 appearances this season, which is very consistent with his lowly results from last season when he posted a -14.3 GSAx rating.

Anaheim's offensive corps is never going to help the team control play at a high rate, and when pressured, the Ducks' blue line has an extremely hard time limiting opposition chances.

Over the last 10 games, Anaheim has trended toward solid offensive form and has averaged 3.3 goals per game with both the power play and top offensive stars playing better.

Kings vs. Ducks Pick

Los Angeles' defensive play has been razor-sharp over the last two games and has been a huge part of Copley's surprising success this season. If the Kings' defensive performance begins to dip at all, it's likely that Copley will perform more like a below-average NHL starter.

It's reasonable to believe the Ducks could surprise and score a few more than expected here, as it has displayed some progress in that area recently.

Offensively, the Kings have been in tremendous form, and I don't see them slowing down much against the Ducks on Friday.

Over 6.5 at -125 gives us a playable price if the goaltending matchup is Copley vs. Gibson. If we happen to luck into a start from Quick, -125 suddenly becomes a very strong price and a ticket we'd be pumped to have.

Parlays involving a Kings win and the game total to go over could be another fun way to attack this matchup depending on which book you're using.

Pick: Over 6.5 (-125 · Play to -130)

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