Free NHL Picks: Kings Are Our Strong Selection vs. Islanders

Jason Lake

Thursday, February 11, 2016 12:44 PM GMT

The New York Islanders host the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night – but why are the NHL odds for this matchup so late? Maybe it has to do with the Kings and their goalies.

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NHL Pick: Kings +100
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Feb. 10: 1-1 ATS (–0.85 units), 0-5 ML (–5.12 units), 0-0-2 Totals (0.00 units)

 

By the time you read this, there will probably be some lines up on the NHL odds board for Thursday's game (7:00 p.m. ET) in Brooklyn between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Islanders. But as we go to press, we're still waiting here at the home office. What's going on? Nobody's listed as questionable for either team on the injury reports. There isn't another Snowpocalypse about to descend on the Empire State. But we'll soldier on regardless.

 

Islander 2: The Quickening
Maybe it has to do with the Kings and who they'll have between the pipes. Regular No. 1 starter Jonathan Quick (.918 save percentage) was listed as the probable starter for L.A. over at Left Wing Lock; at some point Wednesday evening, they switched their prognosis to back-up Jhonas Enroth (.931 SV%), who's been having the better season – kind of like two years ago, when both Martin Jones and Ben Scrivens outperformed Quick.

Jaroslav Halak (.918 SV%) remains the projected starter for the Islanders. He's the nominal No. 1 in New York, but again, Thomas Greiss (.929 SV%) has been the better goalie thus far. Halak is also on a personal eight-game losing streak against the Kings. Do they have his number? Probably not. The Kings have been good-to-great for the past seven years now; so has Halak, on four different teams. It's probably just our good old friend, Dumb Luck.

 

The View From Everywhere
While we're waiting around for the odds,let's do the handicappery thing and come up with some of our own. As always, Hockey-Reference is on the case; they have Los Angeles (+0.38 SRS) just ahead of New York (+0.30 SRS) on their Simple Rating System. Home ice at Barclays Center should be worth about 0.30 goals to the Islanders, and every tenth of a goal is worth about 10 cents on the moneyline – if I'm doing this right – so let's make New York –122 our baseline. Feel free to ridicule me in the comments.

Again, no major injuries for either side – wait, what's this? Apparently I need to consult several sources, because at least one of them has Quick listed as questionable after he was pulled from Thursday's game against Anaheim with a lower-body injury. That would explain the switcheroo at Left Wing Lock, although Quick is listed as active elsewhere. Journalism~! Tell you what: Let's make the Kings our conditional NHL pick, based on the promise that Enroth will be in goal on Thursday. If the odds come out and New York's at least as chalky as –122, there might be some profit margin there for you to grab.