Free NHL Picks: Ducks +121 To Continue Their Winning Streak Against Kings

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, March 5, 2016 2:32 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 5, 2016 2:32 PM UTC

The Ducks travel to Los Angeles hoping to break the tie atop the Pacific division and claim the top spot all to themselves. Let's check out the NHL odds and see who to back in our picks. 

Anaheim Ducks (36-27, +1.2 units)
The Ducks skate into LA as the hottest team in the league having reeled off 10 straight wins including a convincing 5-1 victory in the desert over the Coyotes on Thursday night. Perhaps the most notable aspect of this winning streak is that the Ducks offense has finally come alive. Over the course of their 10 consecutive victories Anaheim has averaged 4.2 goals per game which is well above their 22nd ranked season average of 2.5 goals per game.

Though the offense has been dazzling as of late it is in fact the defense that shines brightest on this club. The platoon of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson has been amongst the finest tandem in the game combining for the third best goals against average of just 2.3 allowed per game while Gibson trails only Ben Bishop of Tampa Bay in the goals against average category with a sparkling 2.09 in 28 games played. Andersen is no slouch himself with a 2.22 GAA to complement a .922 save percentage in 35 contests this season.


Los Angeles Kings (38-25, -0.9 units)
The Kings skate into this matinee winning five of their last six with their most recent victory coming at the expense of the Montreal Canadiens. Los Angeles jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first 3:33 of the game as Anze Kopitar notched his 19th goal of the season followed a little over two minutes later when Tanner Pearson tallied for his 12th. Dwight King scored in the third period to widen the lead to 3-1 before the game ended with LA defeating the visitors from Montreal by the score of 3-2 in regulation. The Kings outshot the Habs 31-15.

Like their opponents this afternoon the Kings rely first and foremost on defense, boasting the top ranked goals against average in the NHL allowing an average of only 2.3 goals per game. Curiously however their penalty killing unit is only middling as they rank 13th extinguishing 81.4 percent of their opponents man-advantaged situations. Offensively the Kings are ranked 17th with a 2.6 goals per game average yet over the course of their last nine games in which they have registered a 5-4 mark the team has averaged a meager 1.66 goals per game.


Betting Analysis
The Ducks will be looking to win the season series 3-1 if they can skate out of the Staples Center with a victory this afternoon. In the first meeting the Kings took a 3-2 road win in Anaheim but the Ducks won the next two meetings by the identical scores of 4-2 in both home and away contests. Both teams are on a roll but the Ducks are scoring in bunches while the Kings are winning off the goaltending prowess of Jonathan Quick and the stout defensive corps in front of him. Yet, the Ducks' tandem of Andersen and Gibson have been steel curtains in the crease as well. What to do?

When we take a look at the NHL odds boards in this one we find that the Kings are -134 home favorites in the few offshore sportsbooks that are hanging a line on this one as the status of Ducks' captain Ryan Getzlaf is still very much in doubt after sitting out the last game against the Coyotes with a lower body injury. Nevertheless, this looks like a good spot to include a live dog in our NHL picks. We have a an absolutely white hot Ducks team that bested the Kings 4-2 just six days ago and are scoring at will while getting outstanding goaltending. What's not to like except the venue?

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Free NHL Pick: Anaheim Ducks +121
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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