Free NHL Picks: Kings at Maple Leafs Odds
by George Monroy - 12/10/2013
The Los Angeles Kings may be in a bit of an offensive slump over the last month of the season, but the team isn’t worried because its outstanding defensive play and goaltending has made up of for any scoring deficiencies as of late. Los Angeles is allowing opponents to score only two goals per game and has not given up more than two goals in regulation since a 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators during the beginning of November. With that level of efficiency, the team might not need to worry about how well it plays on the offensive end.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to at least split games during their current two-game homestand after losing by three goals to the Boston Bruins on Sunday. The team has slowly started to fall down the Eastern Conference Playoff standings after losing five games in a row toward the end of November and will try to turn things around against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup and figure out which side of the wager has the most value to bet on.
Kings at Maple Leafs Betting Story Lines
Los Angeles is on a solid three-game win streak that includes victories over the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks. The team is coming off a three-goal win over the New York Islanders on Sunday where the defense held New York to only 16 shot attempts throughout the night. Third-string goaltender Martin Jones made his second career start and looked awfully impressive shutting out the Islanders, and he has allowed only one regulation goal in two straight starts for the Kings.
Los Angeles’ offense has not been as efficient as head coach Darryl Sutter would prefer it to be, but the team is still scoring points and racking up wins. The Kings have averaged only 2.3 goals per game since November began and have scored more than three goals in a game only twice in that same span. Los Angeles will begin a four-game road trip starting on Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens that will end with a matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 15.
Toronto has lost six of its last eight games and needed overtime to get its two wins during that stretch. Things might be getting even worse for the team as it will face a tough lineup that includes the Kings, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins over the next five days. The Maple Leafs started off their last loss by taking an early lead over the Bruins, but then they allowed Boston to score three straight goals in the second period and stopped being competitive at that point. The team, which is one of the best power-play squads in the NHL, was not able to score any goals during its four power-play opportunities during the game.
Kings at Maple Leafs NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Los Angeles opened as a -131 favorite over the +119 underdog Maple Leafs, according to BetOnline. The total opened at five goals, with the “under” being favored at -116. Los Angeles has a 5-1 record over its last six road games and a 5-1 record against the Eastern Conference. The team has performed well during Wednesday games and has a 17-6 record over its last 23 matchups. However, Los Angeles is only 5-16 on the road against teams with a .600 or better home winning percentage.
Toronto has lost four of its last five games against the Western Conference and two of its last eight Wednesday games. The team is also 2-6 during its last eight overall games. Head-to-head, Toronto has lost five of the last six home meetings, while the under is 10-4 during the last 14 overall meetings. The road team has won four straight games in the matchup.
Free NHL Picks: Kings at Maple Leafs Predictions
Los Angeles is a solid road team with a 9-3-2 record and should be able to keep up that trend against a slumping Maple Leafs team on Wednesday night. The Kings defense and goaltending have been excellent over the last month, and they should be able to shut down Toronto’s offense and limit its shot attempts throughout the night. This is a matchup that the streaking Los Angeles Kings should be able to win. Take the Kings on the moneyline.
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