NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Predators vs. Kings (March 22)
Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Kings standout Anze Kopitar.
Predators vs. Kings Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||ESPN+ | Hulu|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
With the NHL trade deadline in the rear-view mirror, we are officially into the stretch drive for the season.
Valuable points in the Western Conference are up for grabs Tuesday when playoff hopefuls Los Angeles and Nashville battle in a crucial game.
A few factors weighing down the Predators suggest the Kings are worth backing as short, home favorites. That said, let’s take a look at this matchup below.
The Predators enter this contest on a two-game winning streak, earning a victory in seven of their last 10 outings. However, Nashville’s success is contradicted by its metrics, suggesting it’s headed toward a correction phase over the coming games.
Playing away from home on the second night of a back-to-back set could compound those issues.
Nashville tends to get outplayed at 5-on-5, which is clearly illustrated over its recent sample. The Predators have posted expected goals-for ratings below 50.0% in four consecutive games, dropping their season-long rating to 49.9 percent.
Still, they’re are rolling in the wins, claiming victory in three of those contests. Nashville’s offense is surging despite questionable production metrics, leaving it on an inevitable path with regression.
The Predators have scored at least four goals in all four contests, despite attempting a combined 17 total high-danger chances at 5-on-5 in the process.
Their increased output stretches back further, as they’ve scored four or more goals in seven consecutive contests, posting a 15.9% shooting percentage along the way. The Predators have reached a breaking point, and goals should decrease substantially as production balances with output over their coming games.
Los Angeles Kings
Analytically, the Kings have been one of the best teams in the league this season.
They’ve ridden their seventh-best expected goals-for rating at 5-on-5 to second place in the Pacific Division, but their efforts have been paying off over their current schedule. After an 11-game span in which it collected just five wins, we expect better results to follow Los Angeles’ solid performances.
The team’s success is premised on structured defensive zone coverage, which it has gotten away from over its past few games. Opponents have attempted 11 or more high-danger chances in three of the Kings’ past five outings, which is above their season average of 9.0 overall.
Getting back to the basics will be critical for the Kings, and thankfully, they won’t face a sincere challenge from an opponent that hasn’t attempted more than six in four consecutive games.
Substandard defensive performances haven’t prevented the Kings from outplaying their opponents, as they’ve posted xG ratings above 50.0% in seven of their previous 11 contests.
Despite the sustained analytics success, Los Angeles’ PDO has suffered, falling to 0.953 over the recent sample. Consequently, that has dropped its season-long rating to 26th in the NHL at 0.989 in the process.
Needless to say, more wins should follow the Kings efforts.
Predators vs. Kings Pick
The Predators might have miscalculated their goaltending usage, starting primary goalie Juuse Saros on the first night of a back-to-back set against an inferior foe.
That could open the door for the Kings to get back into the win column, as these teams are positioned on opposite ends of the progression/regression spectrum.
So, we like the short price on the home side.
Pick: Los Angeles ML (-120)
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