In the first of four meetings over the last five games to close out the season last night, the Avalanche eliminated the Kings from playoff contention with a 3-2 win.
Let’s take a look at this matchup, the sixth meeting between Colorado and Los Angeles this season, from a betting perspective in our Avalanche vs. Kings betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
However, because Vegas also won, Colorado remains four points behind the Knights with four games to play. Still, the Avalanche control their own destiny as they play Vegas one more time head-to-head and also have a game in hand, so if they win out, they are West Division champs.
Step two in that process comes tonight in Los Angeles again, although the Kings might not have the same spunk they had Friday night now that they’re out of the race.
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Avalanche vs. Kings Betting Pick (May 8, 2021)
Nathan MacKinnon was a surprise scratch for Colorado on Friday night with a lower-body injury. Coach Jared Bednar said he’s “banged up a little bit” and didn’t want to risk him aggravating the injury this close to the playoffs.
That sounds like MacKinnon might be on the shelf again tonight, which certainly puts a crimp in the Colorado offense. But not too much of one. Mikko Rantanen is still a 30-goal scorer. Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar are both point-per-game players, and Andre Burakovsky has been hot of late with six points in his last four games.
Los Angeles coach Todd McClellan was confident his team would continue to compete despite being eliminated, saying that games against teams like Colorado that have meaning for the Avalanche are a better measuring stick for what the team has for the future than to have “some token games against some teams that maybe aren’t in the playoffs.”
Avalanche vs. Kings Odds
Here are the lines for Avalanche vs. Kings at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Avalanche (-1.5 -107), Kings (+1.5 -112)
Moneyline: Avalanche (-278); Kings (+235)
Over/Under: Over 6 (+100)/Under 6 (-121)
Bets We Like With an Avalanche Win
Avalanche -1.5 AND OVER 6 goals (+235, DraftKings)
Despite McClellan’s comments, the first game after being eliminated from the playoffs is usually tough on a team to keep the energy level up. However, with Philipp Grubauer playing Friday and Vegas looming on Monday, the Avalanche are likely to turn to Jonas Johansson for tonight’s game. Meanwhile, the Kings are likely to lean on Troy Grosenick after Calvin Petersen had a busy night in goal Friday. Two backup goalies usually lead to higher scoring games, and since the game means more to the Avs than the Kings, they should cover the spread.
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Bets We Like With a Kings Win
Anze Kopitar OVER 0.5 power play points (+260, FanDuel)
This one didn’t hit Friday, but the Kings only had one power play chance. We somehow think they might get at least a couple more tonight.
We always look for value, and this long shot bet gives you better value than you might think. The Kings’ power play is pretty good on home ice this season, clicking at 22.5% at Staples Center. Colorado’s penalty kill is pretty good overall, killing at 82%, which ranks eighth in the NHL, but on the road they tend to struggle, killing at just a 76.7% clip, which ranks 23rd overall.
Kopitar leads the Kings with 23 power play points. Not to mention, Colorado is only 12-9-2 when allowing a power play goal but is 23-4-2 when they don’t. Lots of trends add up here for the Kings to get a power play goal, and the most likely guy to get a point on the power play is Koptiar.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
OVER 6 goals (+100, DraftKings)
It’s only even money, and, yes, these teams have played every game this season at under six goals, except one that hit six on the nose. That being said, combine two backup goalies with the notion of L.A. not having anything to play for, while Colorado needs a win to have a shot at the division, and this one has the scent of a higher-scoring affair.
Avalanche vs. Kings Prediction
Colorado needs the game and will get the win. It will likely be more wide-open than usual between these two clubs. Special teams also should be a factor. Call it Avalanche 5, Kings 2.