Free NHL Picks for Ducks vs. Kings

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, January 25, 2014 4:49 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 4:49 PM GMT

The Kings host the Ducks on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California with the opening puck drop scheduled for 9:35 PM ET. Find out where our handicapper believes the best value lies for our NHL picks.
According to NHL betting odds both teams are -105 on the money line and the posted total is 5.0.  The Kings have defeated the Ducks in their last 5 meetings at the Staples Center. These teams have seen 7 of their last 9 meetings in Los Angeles stay under the total. This will be a rematch of a game played this past Thursday in Anaheim in which the Ducks prevailed 2-1.
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Ducks on a Golden Pond
 
The Anaheim Ducks are having a dream season to this point, and are showing no signs of slowing down. They lead what’s arguably the best division (Pacific) in hockey by 9-points over the 2ndplace San Jose Sharks, and are first overall in the Western Conference 5-points better than the next best Chicago Blackhawks. The Ducks have lost just 10 of their first 53-games in regulation time, and have earned at least 1-point in 43 of those 53 contests.  They average 3.3 goals per game which ranks 3rd in the NHL, are allowing just 2.4 goals per game, and that’s good for 6th in the league. The Ducks possess two players who are in the top 5 of the NHL scoring race, Ryan Getzlaf (3rd) and Corey Perry (5th).  At this current pace the Ducks would finish the regular season with 125-points, and that would comfortably establish a new franchise record.
 
Inside the Ducks Numbers
 
·         The Ducks are 14-3 on the money line versus division opponents this season.
·         The Ducks are 16-3 on the money line following a 1-goal win.
·         The Ducks have gone over the total in 7 of 8 road games this season played on a Saturday.
·         The Ducks have gone over the total in 7 of their last 9-games played on a Saturday.
·         The Ducks have gone under the total in 20 of their last 28 road games versus an opponent with a money line home winning percentage of better than .600.
 
A Bump in the Road
 
The Los Angeles Kings enter tonight’s game having lost their last 4-games in a row. This will be their first home game since completing a 5-game in 8-day road trip that saw them go a dismal 1-4. Despite allowing 14-goals in those 5-games, the Kings are allowing just 2.0 goals per game which is best in the NHL. The good news is the Kings are an extremely profitable 12-2 in their last 14-games versus the money line, following a road trip of 7-days or more. The Kings enter today 3rdin the Pacific Division, and 6th overall in the Western Conference.
 
There’s No Place like Home
 
The one constant for the Kings in the past 2 seasons has been their terrific play on home ice. They’ve gone 35-14 versus the money line at the Staples Center since the beginning of last season. The Kings are very good at dictating the pace of the game at home. They’ve gone over the total just twice in their last 14 home games. As a matter of fact Los Angeles has gone over the total in just 18 of their last 73-games overall.
 
Final Analysis
 
The Kings enter tonight’s home game really struggling. It’s of no surprise that the early money has favored the red-hot Anaheim Ducks. This is a Kings team that’s been lights out at home over the last couple of seasons, and their character will show up tonight. The value here for our NHL picks lies with the home underdog.
NHL Pick: Kings -105 over the Ducks
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