Rematch of a Classic Series
The Sharks will host the Kings on Thursday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California with the opening face-off slated for 10:35 PM ET. This will be opener of their best-of-7 Western Conference Quarterfinal series. According to NHL betting odds the Sharks are a -140 money line home favorite and the posted total is 4.5. The home team has won 24 of the last 31 meetings between these teams. The teams haven’t seen any of the last 7-games played in San Jose go over the total. This will be a rematch of last season’s playoff series won by the Kings in 7-games, and 5 of those 7 were decided by 1-goal.
The San Jose sharks enter these playoffs as the #3 seed in the Western Conference. Unlike last season’s playoffs when they faced the Kings, the Sharks will be the ones with home ice advantage for this go around. The high powered Sharks offensive attack will be put to a severe test from an opponent that has allowed the fewest goals in the entire NHL this season. The Sharks struggled offensively in their 5 meetings with the Kings this season scoring just 8-goals combined in those contests. The Sharks finished the regular season by averaging 2.9 goals per game which ranked 6th in the league, and were also #1 in the NHL with 34.8 shots on goal per game on average. It’s not like they’re not going to present a challenge to the Kings as well in that regard. San Jose was a superb 29-12 versus the money line on home ice this year, and is 44-14 in the last 58 at the SAP Center dating back to last season.
The Los Angeles Kings have unquestionably been the best defensive team in the NHL over the last 3 seasons combined. They enter the postseason have gone over the total in just 14 of their last 65-games overall. The bad news for the Kings is that they finished the regular season by losing 4 of their last 5-games. Playing the devil’s advocate, I would say as good as this team is defensively, they’re almost on the opposite end of the spectrum offensively. The Kings averaged a paltry 2.4 goals per game this season ranking 26th in the NHL. They’ve seen just 9 of their 41 road games go over the total. They were also a very respectable 23-18 versus the money line on enemy ice this season.
Play against any home team which is -100 to -150 on the money line who’s won 2 of their last 3-games, and has played 5-games or less in the last 14-days. By fading the home team in that exact situation you would be 73-44 (62.4%) during the last 5 seasons.
Free Hockey Pick: Kings +120 over the Sharks