Is the west coast the best coast? To cap off Thursday’s hockey action, the Arizona Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings will do their best to prove that statement to be true as they face off on the ice in a Western Conference showdown. Let’s check out our NHL odds series where our Coyotes-Kings prediction and pick will be unveiled for all to see.
After compiling the worst record in the West with a 25-50-7 a year ago, the Coyotes have gotten off to a little bit better of a start with seven wins in the team’s first 20 games, but are still lacking that firepower to get themselves to that next step of success. Regardless, Arizona would like nothing more to rebound from a 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild and snap a mini two-game losing skid on the road.
As for the Kings, LA has also hit a bit of a rough stretch with losses in five of their previous six games. Although the losing ways have raised a few eyebrows around the organization, the Kings still remain in third place within the Pacific Division and are still in a good spot to start off the season.
Here are the Coyotes-Kings NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Coyotes-Kings Odds
Arizona Coyotes: +1.5 (-120)
Los Angeles Kings: -1.5 (-102)
Over: 6 (-114)
Under: 6 (-108)
Why The Coyotes Could Cover The Spread
Yes, preseason expectations could not be lower for this team located smack dab in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, the Coyotes have come away with a few splendid wins that they most likely wouldn’t have been able to win a season ago. While their current record certainly does not jump out at many people, the good news is that there is still an abundant amount of time for Arizona to right the ship the rest of the way.
On paper, the Coyotes have surprisingly faired pretty well against the spread with a 12-8 record, which is quite the opposite of what their overall record currently suggests. Not only that, but the Coyotes are getting the most difficult stretch of their schedule out of the way now as Arizona is currently in the midst of an NHL-record-tying 14-game road trip where they have gone a respectable 4-4-2 while away from home. Without a doubt, Arizona has been a gritty bunch that certainly has what it takes to make a game interesting down the stretch.
When it comes to this matchup versus the Kings, there is no doubt that the Coyotes are going to want to establish some sort of offensive presence behind one of their top skaters in right-winger Clayton Keller. With 14 assists and 21 total points on the season, Keller is always only a few plays from breaking out in any game he suits up in and is also coming off of three consecutive games in which he has recorded at least one point. For a team that is averaging the sixth-fewest goals per game in the league, Keller along with the rest of this Arizona offense will ultimately be responsible for whether or not they will be able to cover.
Why The Kings Could Cover The Spread
Participating in one of this season’s more wild games to date in a devastating 9-8 shootout to the Kraken in overtime, Los Angeles is entering play licking their wounds and most likely feeling extremely frustrated after letting that game slip from their fingers. Regardless, it has become quite obvious that if the Kings are going to make a run at the postseason this year, they need to figure out a way to get more consistent play from their goalies. Once one of the best net-minders on the face of the planet, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has limped his way to a lousy 7-6-2 record and is struggling greatly.
Not to mention, but Quick has also given up 3.30 goals per contest and only boasts a lackluster .890 save percentage in his 15 games started. Facing 14 shots total, Quick was pulled near the end of the second period after allowing five goals. As a whole, the Kings are allowing 3.60 goals per game and have found it difficult to stop anyone on a consistent basis no matter who has been in net. Los Angeles’ defense is not a flashy bunch by any sense of the word, but helping the goaltenders that are on this roster should be a main priority.
The good news is that the Kings’ offensive prowess never looked better, as they hounded Seattle for eight total goals and have now scored at least five goals in three of their last five games played. When looking at this roster, the Kings are led by names such as Kevin Fiala, Gabriel Vilardi, and Viktor Arvidsson who should make things interesting in the scoring department.
Final Coyotes-Kings Prediction & Pick
There is no question that these two squads are familiar with one another with many showdowns over the years, but when it comes to Thursday night’s duel, the Coyotes will exploit the Kings’ lackluster effort in preventing pucks from going in their own net and will end up covering the spread in a gigantic way.
Final Coyotes-Kings Prediction & Pick: Coyotes +1.5 (-120)