NHL Picks: Kings vs. Stars

David Schwab

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 3:20 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Kings will wrap-up a quick two-game road trip this Tuesday night with a stop at American Airlines Arena to face the Dallas Stars. This Pacific Division matchup is slated to get underway at 5:30 p.m. (PT) and it will be available on NHL Center Ice.

Kings Betting Overview

The Kings have yet to clinch a spot in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the defending champs are sitting pretty in fourth place with 48 points. They are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to Anaheim this past Saturday as slight 101 road underdogs to fall to 5-1-2 in their last eight games. The total went OVER the five-goal line after staying UNDER in two of their previous three outings.

Balance has been the key this season for Los Angeles this season. Through 39 games it is ranked eighth in the NHL in both goals-per-game (2.9) and goals allowed (2.4). Jeff Carter leads the team with 23 goals and Anze Kopiter leads in total points with 10 goals and 23 assists. The offense could get a boost if Dustin Penner returns to the lineup after being activated off the injured reserve list. Jonathan Quick should most likely get the start in goal against the Stars. He comes in with a goals-against-average of 2.49 and an 898 save percentage in 29 previous games.

Check out our NHL Picks of the Day for more free plays.

Stars Betting Overview 

The Stars margin for error heading down the stretch is getting razor thin as far as claiming a berth in the postseason. With just 10 games left on the regular season slate they are currently four points out of the eighth and final spot with a total of 39 points. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games but coming off back-to-back road victories against Anaheim and San Jose. Dallas returns home for this contest where it is under .500 on the year at 8-9-2. The total has gone OVER in five of its last eight games.

Scoring has not been an issue for the Stars this season with an average of 2.7 goals a game, but keeping opposing teams from doing the same has. They are ranked 25th in the league in goals allowed with a GAA of 3.1. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen comes in with 2.66 GAA and a save percentage of .916. On offense, Dallas will now look to players such as Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn to carry the load after trading its leading goal scorer Jaromir Jagr to Boston right before last week’s trade deadline.

[gameodds]7/224371/43/us[/gameodds]

Kings vs. Stars- NHL Betting Odds and Trends 

NHL odds makers have opened Los Angeles as a 136 road favorite on the money line with the Stars listed as 124 home underdogs. The total for this game has been set at 5. 

The Kings are 20-8 in their last 28 games against a team with a losing record but just 1-5 in their last five games of a ‘four games in five nights’ situation. The total has gone OVER in nine of their last 14 division games.

The Stars are 4-9 in their last 13 games playing on one day’s rest and 8-17 in their last 25 games against a team with a winning record. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven home games. 

Head-to-head in this division matchup, the road team is a perfect 6-0 in the last six meeting and the total has gone OVER in three of the last five games. Dallas has a 2-1 edge in this season’s series with the total evenly split at 1-1-1.

Kings vs. Stars- Free NHL Pick 

Playing this game on the road swings the slight advantage to the Kings given the recent trends in this series. Look for this contest to remain tight right to end given that four of the last seven meetings were decided by just one goal. In the end, the free NHL pick is Los Angeles by the same margin.

Los Angeles 3    Stars 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)

YTD NHL Free Picks Record: 25-13-2