Wednesday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Los Angeles Kings vs. Detroit Red Wings Betting Preview
Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Quick.
- The Kings are favorites on Wednesday night in the Motor City.
- Los Angeles and Detroit have taken strides forward this season, with the Kings competing for playoff spots.
- Carol Schram breaks down the matchup below and makes her betting pick.
Kings vs. Red Wings Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+125|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
As part of Wednesday’s five-game slate that will take hockey fans into the NHL’s All-Star Break, the Los Angeles Kings will wrap up a six-game road trip with a visit to Little Caesars Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings.
Impressively, the Kings are undefeated in regulation so far on this Eastern swing, with a record of 3-0-2 on a trip that has already included a pair of back-to-back sets.
As for the Red Wings, they’re wrapping up a three-game homestand and coming off an overtime win on Monday against Southern California’s other team, the Anaheim Ducks.
Here’s the latest on both squads, and how to bet this contest.
Kings Continuing Strong Season
With a record of 5-3-2 in their last 10 games, the surprising Kings aren’t showing any signs of sagging as they slide into the second half of their season. As of Tuesday afternoon, they’re sitting second in the Pacific Division by points percentage, just two points behind the leaders in Vegas.
At 5-on-5, the Kings currently rank eighth in expected goals percentage, wedged between the powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche. They’re good at generating scoring opportunities, sitting fourth in high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes.
Though Los Angeles is 21st in high-danger chances against per 60, it’s getting solid seasons out of both of its netminders. At age 36, Jonathan Quick has a lofty 15.5 goals saved above expected, while Cal Petersen checks in with an acceptable 2.3.
The pair have been alternating starts for the last three weeks, so it looks like Quick will get the nod in Detroit.
The Kings’ success on this road trip has come despite more blows to their already depleted defense corps. With Sean Walker and Alex Edler already out with long-term issues, they’ll also be without Mikey Anderson (upper-body injury) and Matt Roy (COVID protocol) against Detroit.
Red Wings Showing Signs of Progression
Currently at .500 at 20-20-6, the Red Wings are on track for their best season since their 25-year streak of consecutive playoff appearances was snapped in 2016.
This year, Detroit is markedly better on home ice than on the road, with a record of 14-8-3. The Wings have won two of their last three — extra-time affairs against good opponents in the Ducks and the Penguins — and gave the Maple Leafs a run for their money before settling for a 7-4 loss last Saturday.
The Wings get consistent offensive production from Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi. They’ve got a pair of terrific rookies, Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider, who are already difference-makers. And they’re getting decent contributions from their next tier of less-heralded forwards, such as Vladislav Namestnikov and Robby Fabbri. But their expected goals share at 5-on-5 falls into the lower half of the league rankings, as do their special teams. Alex Nedeljkovic’s 5.5 goals saved above expected stands out as an area of strength.
At this stage of their evolution, the Red Wings are best characterized as inconsistent, which makes it tough on bettors. Some nights, especially at home, they tease improvement. Other nights, they get their teeth kicked in.
Nedeljkovic has carried the lion’s share of Detroit’s recent workload, so he should start again on Wednesday. Thomas Greiss has recently returned to the roster after spending six games in COVID protocol. Beyond that, the Red Wings’ roster is basically healthy.
Kings-Red Wings Pick
When the Kings hosted the Wings in Los Angeles on Jan. 8, the home team skated away with a 4-0 shutout win, with Cal Petersen earning the W.
Even home-ice advantage probably won’t be enough for the Red Wings to get the best of a scrappy Kings squad — not even one at the tail end of a long road trip, playing its sixth game in 11 nights, and missing a couple of key blueliners.
Look for L.A. to lean on its strong offensive system to get the best of a relatively porous Detroit defense, with Quick once again turning back the clock to deliver another strong performance at the other end of the ice.
The road favorite is your best bet here.
Pick: Kings -145 (play down to -160)