Leafs vs. Kings NHL Pick: Several Factors Signal 'Over'

Ross Benjamin

Monday, January 12, 2015 2:32 PM GMT

This informative NHL betting preview article includes a very intriguing take on the total for tonight’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Los Angeles Kings.

Maple Leafs at the Staples Center on Monday
The Los Angeles Kings will entertain the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 10:35 PM ET. I’ll be focusing on the total in this contest for one of my NHL picks. According to the NHL betting odds at 5Dimes, the posted total in this game is currently 5.5. This will be the second meeting of the season between these teams. Toronto defeated Los Angeles 4-3 as a +135 money line home underdog in the first encounter. These clubs split their two matchups a season ago with the road team winning on both occasions.

 

Maple Leafs Report
Toronto is coming off a 5-2 home win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in their previous game this past Friday. The win snapped a three game losing streak and was just their third victory in the last eleven contests. Toronto has now gone over the total in the last three and twenty of their previous thirty games. The Leafs enter tonight averaging 3.3 goals per game on the season, and they’re also allowing 3.1 goals per outing. Jonathan Bernier is slated to be in goal tonight for Toronto. Bernier has struggled over his past four starts by compiling a subpar .873 save percentage.

Check out our top NHL picks on the Money Line for today.

Kings out of Character
The Los Angeles Kings have established a reputation over the past three seasons as being an extremely stingy defensive team with excellent goaltending. High scoring games were more of a rarity than the norm during that time. However, that trend has taken an unusual twist during the past few weeks. Los Angeles has gone over the total in their previous three games, and has gone under the number just twice in the last fourteen times they’ve stepped onto the ice. The Kings #1 goaltender Jonathan Quick has been considered to be as one of the best goaltenders in the world in recent years. Unfortunately for the Kings, Quick has struggled mightily in his last four starts, posting a horrible .829 save percentage during that time.

 

Final Analysis
This is a Toronto team that’s very explosive offensively. The defensive play of the Leafs is another story, and is pretty much on the opposite end of the spectrum. Not only are they allowing over three goals per outing, opponents are averaging 33.9 shots on goal per game versus the Leafs this season, and that includes an average of 35.2 on the road.

The Los Angeles Kings have allowed four goals or more in each of their previous three games. They’ve seen eight of nine go over the total during the past two seasons after allowing four goals or more in each of their previous two games. The Kings have scored three or more, and allowed three or more, in ten of the last fourteen games.

Free NHL Picks: Play on the Maple Leafs and Kings to go over the total of 5.5 at 5Dimes