Predators at Kings Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/4/2013
The Nashville Predators wrap up a three-game West Coast swing this Monday night with a stop at the Staples Center to face off against the Los Angeles Kings. The puck drops at 10:30 p.m. in this Western Conference clash, and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NHL Network.
Nashville continues to struggle with a 4-5-1 record in its last 10 games, including a 2-1 road loss to San Jose this past Saturday as a +128 underdog. The Predators are now 9-8-5 on the year and currently tied for ninth in the Western Conference standings with 23 points. The total has stayed “under” in three of their last five games.
The Kings recent five-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday with a 5-2 loss to Vancouver as +113 road underdogs. The total went “over” the five-goal line after staying under in three of their previous five games. Los Angeles has 22 points with a record of 10-7-2 that includes a solid 5-1-1 mark at home this season.
Predators at Kings Betting Storylines
It is little wonder that the total has stayed under in most of Nashville’s last few outings with just seven combined goals in its last five games. Considering that five of them came in an overtime victory over Dallas, it is safe to say this team remains mired in a scoring drought that has it ranked dead last in the NHL with a goals-per-game average of 2.0.
Fortunately for Predators’ fans, they remain one of the top defensive teams in the league with a goals-against average of 2.3. Look for Pekka Rinne to be in goal for this one, although that has yet to be confirmed. In what has been a trying season for Nashville, he has been one of the bright spots with a 2.09 GAA and a save percentage of .921.
The defending champs have had their fair share of ups and downs this season, but with the exception of Saturday’s loss, continue to show slow-but-steady improvement on both ends of the ice. Offensively, Anze Kopitar leads the team with 18 points (six goals and 12 assists), and Jeff Carter has led the way with a team-high 11 goals. However, scoring has not been deep with just two other players tallying more than three goals so far.
The main reason that Los Angeles has remained competitive has been the play of both Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier in goal. Bernier has been the better of the two with a GAA of 1.64, but both goalies have a save percentage above 90 percent. Quick got the start against the Canucks, so it could be Bernier’s turn in this contest.
Predators at Kings NHL Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline has the Predators as +137 road underdogs on the money line with Los Angeles listed as a -151 home favorite. The over/under line for this game has been set at 5.
The Predators have lost their last five games on the road and are 1-4 in their last five games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed under in 10 of their last 13 road games.
The Kings are a perfect 4-0 in their last four home games and 12-5 in their last 17 games against the Central Division. The total has stayed under or ended as a push in five of their last six games at home.
Nashville has won the first two meetings this season, including a 2-1 shootout on Jan.31 as a +134 road underdog. In early February, the Predators shut out Los Angeles, 3-0, as +104 underdogs at home. The total stayed under in both games and has now stayed under in three of the last five meetings.
Predators at Kings Picks and Betting Predictions
The Predators have gotten the best of this season’s series so far, but the pick in this contest is on the Kings. Nashville continues to struggle on the road, and Los Angeles looks much more like its champion self when playing at the Staples Center. This matchup could provide a perfect opportunity for a parlay with the under, but if you just want to play a side, stick with Los Angeles.
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