Free NHL Picks: Ducks at Kings Odds
by George Monroy - 1/24/2014
The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will kick off the 2014 Stadium Series during their outdoor matchup inside Dodger Stadium on Saturday night. Los Angeles is on a bit of a slump to start the year and has surprisingly lost seven of its last 11 matchups while falling to the sixth spot in the Western Conference playoff standings. The Kings’ long-time goaltender, Jonathan Quick, has played well since returning from injury but is only 1-3 over his last four starts while allowing only nine goals during that span.
Anaheim continues to be the most dominant team in the NHL at the moment and even earned the respect of the oddsmakers at Sportsbook.ag by being installed as one of the co-favorites, along with the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins, to win this year’s Stanley Cup title. The squad has been winning at a ridiculous pace to start 2014, losing only two games in 11 matchups to go along with an eight-game win streak. Let’s take a closer look at Saturday’s high-profile game ‘under the stars’ between Los Angeles and Anaheim.
Ducks at Kings Betting Story Lines
Los Angeles is currently on a four-game losing streak but has been struggling for the better part of a month. The team has lost 11 of its last 15 games dating back to a three-goal loss to the Dallas Stars two days before Christmas. Since then, Los Angeles has been in a tailspin, falling from the top of the Western Conference playoff standings all the way to the sixth position in the West. Quick and the rest of the squad’s goaltenders have played as well as can be expected during such a slump, but the real bulk of the blame should fall on the team’s struggling offense.
During Los Angeles’ last outing, Quick held Anaheim’s offense to just two goals, but he did not receive any help from an offense that was able to take 31 shot attempts throughout the night. The Kings are in real danger of falling out of the playoff race if they cannot break their month-long slump. Los Angeles dropped four of five during a five-game road trip that ended with Thursday’s loss against the Ducks. The schedule will not be of any help for Los Angeles as it will play two of its next three games on the road against the San Jose Sharks, Phoenix Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins—all difficult matchups for a struggling team.
Anaheim lost it first regulation home matchup of the season against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. The squad went over three-and-a-half months without losing straight up inside the Honda Center and only dropped two overtime games during that span. And that is not even the most impressive streak Anaheim had this season; the team went on a ridiculous 18-1 run from Dec. 6 to Jan. 15th. The Ducks, simply put, are the best team in the NHL at the moment. They have also outscored their opponent 38-19 in January and are allowing only 1.72 goals during that span.
The Ducks turned their last matchup against the Kings into a gritty and hard-hitting affair, and they wanted to prove they “can play any style” of hockey, according to defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who spoke to the media after the game. Anaheim only took 21 shot attempts on the night and wanted to slow down the pace of the matchup and play an ugly style of hockey. The game plan seemed to work as the Ducks took home a 2-1 victory in which no goals were scored in the third period of the game.
Ducks at Kings NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Both teams opened at -110 at Sportsbook.ag. The total was set at five goals. Los Angeles is 5-1 in its recent matchups against its Pacific Division rivals and 12-2 over their last 14 home games following a road trip of seven days or more. The team is also 2-6 over its last eight after allowing two goals or less in its previous matchup, 1-4 when playing on one day of rest and 0-4 in its last four overall games.
Anaheim is 5-0 in its last five Saturday games and 9-2 in its last 11 road games. The team is also 4-1 during the second game in a home-and-home situation and 22-6 against the Western Conference. Anaheim has one “over” in six of its last seven games when playing on one day of rest. Head-to-head, the home team is 5-1 during the last six matchups, while the Ducks are 0-5 during its recent trips to Los Angeles.
Free NHL Picks: Ducks at Kings Predictions
Los Angeles just lost to the Ducks on Thursday and will enter this matchup motivated and looking for revenge. The last thing the Kings want is to lose on their home turf inside Dodger Stadium in one of the biggest games of the year. The Kings are talented enough, and will definitely be motivated enough, to win Saturday’s matchup. Take the Kings in this great revenge spot.
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