The San Jose Sharks have a golden opportunity to take a 3-2 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings after trailing 2-0 when the two teams meet on Thursday night at the Staples Center.
However, most of the larger online sportsbooks, such as William Hill, have pegged the Kings as -145 favorites on the money line to win this one. The home team is 13-3 in the last 16 head-to-head meetings between these adversaries.
Bettors backing Los Angeles also have the option of giving up -1 ½ goals, with a two to one return (+200) if the Kings can win by at least 2 goals. Supporting San Jose on the puck line comes with a hefty price tag of -240 if you are looking to add the +1 ½ goal advantage to your NHL picks.
At first look, the total seems a bit low at 4 ½ goals, but the price to go over is -135 on the NHL odds boards. San Jose is under in 6 of 10 played on the road (6-1-3), while Los Angeles has fallen short of the number in 9 of 13 overall (9-2-2).
After dropping the first two games in this series, the Sharks were facing a 3-0 hole before coming back and winning Game 3 in overtime and notching another victory again in Game 4. Both wins for San Jose in this series have come on their home ice. Game 5 will be a road game for the Sharks where they are 2-2 in this years playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Kings will be happy to be back home at the Staples Center where they have won 12 consecutive games, including five in a row in the postseason. Additionally, the Kings own a four-game winning streak against the Sharks at the Staples Center.
While San Jose has struggled versus the Kings in Los Angeles, they have some nice numbers that are hard to overlook. The Sharks are 6-2 in their last 8 overall, 4-1 in their last 5 that follow a win in their prior matchup and an impressive 7-1 in their last 8 when playing on one day’s rest.
That said, the Kings have proven to be a tough opponent at home. Besides the 12 in a row win streak mentioned above, they are an astounding 39-12 in their last 51 played on their home ice.
The Sharks are very fortunate this series is knotted a two games apiece, but I don’t see them being able to win Game 5 in Los Angeles against the Kings, who are pretty much unbeatable on their home ice.Free NHL Picks: Kings -145 at William Hill