NHL Picks: Sharks vs. Kings in Game 4

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 5:48 PM GMT

Los Angeles will attempt to stave off elimination at the hands of San Jose on Thursday night. Our NHL betting odds guru analyzes what’s taken place so far, breaking down the particulars for Game 4 of the series, and who his NHL free pick is on for this contest.

Do or Die for the Kings
The Kings will host the Sharks on Thursday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California with the opening face-off slated for 10:35 PM ET. This will be Game 4 of their Western Conference Playoff series which finds San Jose with a 3-0 lead. According to my projected NHL betting odds the Kings will be a -110 money line home favorite and the posted total will be 5.0. The first 3-games of this series have produced 25-goals combined, and each of those contests has gone over the total.

[gameodds]7/263982/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

In Total Command
The Sharks have established a firm grip on this series by virtue of their overtime win in Game 3 which enabled them to take a commanding 3-0 lead, and are now a single win away from advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals. Patrick Marleau’s game winning goal 6:20 into overtime sealed the 4-3 win on Tuesday and placed the Kings on the brink of elimination. San Jose outshot Los Angeles in the game 40-31 and was able to overcome a pair of 1-goal deficits. San Jose has now scored 17-goals in the first 3-games of the series. That feat in itself is remarkable when considering they’re accomplishing it all versus the team which allowed the fewest goals in the NHL during the regular season. It’s even more mind boggling due to the fact that San Jose was only able to score 8-goals total in 5 regular season meetings versus Los Angeles.

Take a Look at the Sharks vs. Kings Series Price

Taking it One Game at a Time
The Kings not only endured a gut wrenching overtime defeat on Tuesday night, but they now find themselves in what can be perceived as an overwhelming 3-0 deficit in the series. Even with a win on home ice in Game 4, they would have to win 2-games in San Jose in order to come back and win the series. That doesn’t seem like a very probable scenario since they were outscored 13-5 during the first 2-games at San Jose. The old NHL Playoff adage when referencing a team down 3-0 in a series is to take it one period, and one game at a time. There’s no questioning the character of this veteran Los Angeles team which has been to the Western Conference Finals the last 2 seasons, and won the Stanley Cup in 2012. However, without their star goaltender Jonathan Quick being in top form, the prospects of extending this into a long series seems dim.

 

Final Analysis
I’m not about to wager on the Kings being eliminated on home ice, and I also don’t have much confidence in wagering on them with Jonathan Quick inexplicably struggling in goal. The safest play in my eyes is to go over the total for your NHL picks with all things being evaluated.

Free Hockey Pick: Sharks/Kings to go over the total of 5.0