Rangers vs. Kings NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can New York Keep This Up? (Jan. 10)

Rangers vs. Kings NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can New York Keep This Up? (Jan. 10) article feature image
Credit:

Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Artemi Panarin

  • Monday night's matchup of the Rangers and Kings is pretty close to a toss-up according to oddsmakers.
  • Los Angeles is 6-3-1 in its last 10, while New York will be playing without its head coach.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting prediction.

Rangers vs. Kings Odds

Rangers Odds -110
Kings Odds -110
Over/Under 5.5
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The New York Rangers will continue their West Coast swing with a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Kings on Monday night. The Blueshirts will be without head coach Gerard Gallant, but will get Artemi Panarin back from Covid-19 protocols.

The Kings are coming off a dominant win over the Red Wings on Saturday night and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. Is the market too high on Los Angeles? Or is this a good spot to bet on some regression coming for the Blueshirts?

Panarin Provides a Huge Boost for Rangers

The Rangers have made a habit of finding ways to win this season. Despite underwhelming underlying metrics, the Rangers are near the top of the NHL standings. Similarly, the Blueshirts have also found ways to win when they have had to play without star players like Artemi Panarin and Igor Shesterkin. In four games without Panarin, the Rangers have gone 3-1-0 and have outscored opposition, 13-7.

The Rangers made it very easy for goaltender Alexandar Georgiev on Saturday night in Anaheim, holding the Duck to just 14 shots on goal. Georgiev has been better of late, but his -4.7 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) shows just how much of a drop-off there is between him and Shesterkin.

New York has five players playing at — or near — a point-per-game pace right now, but none are hotter than Mika Zibanejad, who has seven goals and four assists in his last seven games.

There is reason to be skeptical of the Rangers’ recipe for success over the long-term. New York is 23rd in the NHL in expected goals rate (47.4%), 22nd in high-danger chance rate (47.7%) and its barely at the break-even mark in terms of 5-on-5 goal differential. That said, New York’s last four goals (not including an empty netter) have come at even strength, so perhaps an uptick is coming.

The Rangers have the game-breaking talent to win games when they struggle to drive play and their power play has been fantastic, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this team dip as the season goes on.

The Kings Are Hanging Around

The Los Angeles Kings were not expected to be around the playoff picture this season but have stuck in the mix so far. Los Angeles is 17-13-5 with a +4 goal differential and a 50.9% expected goals rate through 35 games, so it’s not like Los Angeles has been all smoke and mirrors.

Interestingly, the Kings have played a very high-event style of hockey this season. Los Angeles ranks 29th in high-danger scoring chances allowed, but the Kings actually produce more (13.34 to 12.2) quality opportunities than they give up at 5-on-5.

Playing a high-risk, high-reward style of hockey puts a lot of pressure on the goaltenders, but Jonathan Quick has answered the bell for Los Angeles in a resurgent season. Quick ranks fourth in the NHL with a +16.4 GSAx in 22 games played this season.

Quick is the likely starter for this one, but there is a chance that the Kings go back to No. 2 goaltender Cal Petersen after his 21-save shutout on Saturday night. After a strong campaign in 2020/21, Petersen has been just about average with a +0.5 GSAx this season.

Kings vs. Rangers Pick

The Rangers’ formula for winning games may look vulnerable, but it seems to be working for them and we’re almost at the halfway point of the season, so it’s not like this is a tiny sample anymore.

The Kings may have the advantage in goal, but a defense that surrenders over a dozen high-quality scoring chances per game at 5-on-5 is frightening when you look at New York’s finishing talent. Some nights you can get away with it, but against players like Panarin, Kreider, Zibanejad and Fox, it will likely haunt you.

Even with Georgiev in net, I think the talent disparity between these two teams is wide enough to feel comfortable laying -110 on New York on the road.

Pick: New York Rangers -110

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