Free NHL Picks: Take Advantage Of Kings +105 vs. Predators

Dana Lane

Monday, March 21, 2016 4:32 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 21, 2016 4:32 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Kings (44-22-5 93 pts) are trying to finish off the Anahiem Ducks to claim the Pacific Division title. See my NHL pick inside.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Nashville Predators
The Los Angeles Kings have a four point lead over the Anahiem Ducks and five points over the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division. With the Kings locking up a playoff spot this early I look to see a team that has a little sense of accomplishment.  It certainly isn't the ultimate goal of the division or the overall lead in the West but it could breed a let down because they've achieved their first goal of making the playoffs. Last season the Kings were not in the playoffs after wining the Stanley Cup so it's reasonable to think that they will use that as motivation when opportunity presents itself to take a night off. I always feel comfortable backing a team that is looking to win their third Cup in five seasons. 

I look to see if some of the teams stars are falling off because that's a sign to go against then when a leader starts to coast.  That doesn't seem to be the case in Los Angeles. Anze Kopitar has 6 goals and 13 points over the last 10 games and Milan Lucic owns a eight game point streak after a cold streak. Remember, the last time the Kings played Nashville, a 2-1 overtime road victory, Kopitar didn't play. 

It was that game you could point to as the turning point in the Kings season. Since, Los Angeles is 11-2-1 while scoring 26 goals. 

Right now I have the Kings a distant second to the Washington Capitals in my power rankings. Part of the component of my rankings is a teams likeliness to receive at least a point in a particular game.  Los Angeles is second, receiving at least a point in almost 66% of their contest.  Only the Capitals at 75% are stronger. Nashville is at a respectable 59% but that puts them close to the middle of the league.  This statistic is important because it's a way to measure a teams consistency with 58% is the leagues midway point. 

Los Angeles has some injuries on the right side but it seems that their depth steps up every night.  Dustin Brown now has a three game point streak while against Boston Tanner Pearson and Alec Martinez had goals to boost Los Angeles to a 2-1 victory. Pearson is a third liner and Martinez is a second pairing defensemen.  

From a goaltenders standpoint its hard for me to go against Jonathan Quick who is 10-3-2 with a .932 save percentage while stopping 64 of his last 68 shots against the Nashville Predators. 

There might be some pause for concern when the Kings go on the road to face a good home team but Los Angeles has handled this better than most posting a sparkling 12-4 record against teams with a winning home record. On the flip side this hasn't been a good spot for Nashville.  They still can't break through to the upper crust to be considered among the leagues Elite teams.  Part of that is because of their 19-39 record against teams with a .600 winning percentage or better. We are backing the Kings tonight as our NHL pick on the NHL odds boards. @DanaLaneSports.

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Free NHL Pick: Kings +105
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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