NHL Picks: Expect Avalanche To Bounce Back vs. Kings On Wednesday

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 6:10 PM GMT

We review the NHL odds and choose a profitable NHL pick as the Avalanche hope to rebound after their loss tothe Sharks, while the Kings have seen their lead deteriorate over their L10.

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Free NHL Pick: Colorado +190
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Colorado Avalanche (26-25 SU, +4.0 units)
The Avalanche saw their four-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt last night as the San Jose Sharks smelled blood in the water when Colorado’s starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov was slated to be missing in action due to a civil suit filed by his former girlfriend. Varlamov backboned the Avs to four consecutive victories and sparkled during that stretch allowing only one goal per game in each of the four. Thus the assignment went to backup 23-year-old Calvin Pickard who was chased from the game after allowing four goals on 20 shots. That necessitated third-stringer Roman Will to hastily make his NHL debut and when the smoke cleared the Sharks drew away to a 6-1 win. Nathan MacKinnon notched the only tally for the Avs with his 17th of the season on a power play opportunity.

Colorado is 14-12 straight up on the road this season but has returned a healthy profit to all who have included the Avs in their NHL picks when the team takes to the highway. Colorado has been involved in more than their fair share of upsets if you consider that they have delivered +8.4 units over those 26 road contests. In addition, they have responded well when stepping up in class as they have gone a stunning 12-3 when playing a team with a winning record which has produced +7.6 units in that scenario for those that like this club in the underdog role.

 

Los Angeles Kings (30-18, +0.60 units)
After dropping their previous two games installed as -200 favorites at home against the Wild and -155 road chalk in Arizona against the Coyotes the Kings flew to San Jose on Sunday night and delivered a solid performance in a 3-2 overtime win installed as +110 road dogs by the NHL odds makers. Backup goalie Jhonas Enroth gave starter Jonathan Quick a breather after Quick had tended the twine for eight straight games but losing his last pair as big favorites over lesser teams. Therefore, it would appear that Quick would be back in the saddle for tonight’s game.

The Kings have been solid defensively, holding opponents to only 2.2 goals per game which is a tip of the hat to their goaltending as well as their blueliners. However the team has not delivered as effectively on the offensive side of things averaging just 2.6 goals per game which puts them squarely in the middle of the NHL pack. Twenty-three-year-old Tyler Toffoli leads the team in goals with 22 and a +26 plus/minus differential while veteran Anze Kopitar is at the top of the heap in points with 41 on the season.

 

Betting Analysis
These two clubs have split their series thus far with the Kings drawing first blood back in October with a 2-1 home win and the Avalanche avenging that defeat with a 4-1 victory in Colorado earlier this month. The biggest factor here is the goaltending with Quick most likely back in net after a night off and the Avalanche relying on either Calvin Pickard, who got torched last night, or an untested Roman Will. That could be the difference although it was indeed Pickard who blanked the Devils only two weeks ago en route to a 3-0 Colorado win.

When you evaluate a team like the Kings laying north of -200 you must consider their pedestrian offense. Certainly, the Avs may be a bit weary after suffering one of their worst losses of the season and then had to board a plane to LA and be ready to play the very next night right before the All-Star break. These are all factors against backing the Avalanche but we must consider betting value when we deal with money lines. Quite honestly the gap between these teams is as narrow as it has been all season and the Avs have proven that when they face good teams they rise to the level of their competition. And that is precisely why I will grab the juice and back the travelin’ pup here for my Wednesday's NHL picks.