Colorado Avalanche at Los Angeles Kings Free Pick

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The Staples Center is playing host a Western Conference showdown as the Los Angeles Kings take on the visiting Colorado Avalanche. Altitude Sports & Entertainment will air the game, and the puck drops at 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 21.

Colorado Avalanche at Los Angeles Kings Odds

Los Angeles (+175) is playing the role of underdog to Los Angeles (-205), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -120 for the under and +100 for the over.

Netting 4.8 units for moneyline bettors, Los Angeles is 21-14 straight up (SU) overall this year. That win percentage, the second-best in the Pacific Division so far in the early season, is a welcome improvement compared to how the team performed during last years regular season (39-43). 17 of the teams 35 contests have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just three have pushed. The teams 10-7 SU at home this season.

The Kings have converted on just 16.2 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s ranked 26th overall in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated second overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 86.6 percent of all penalties.

As a team, the Kings have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, 4.4 per game over their last five matchups total, and 3.6 per game over their last five at home. The teams had to stave off opposition power plays for just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total.

With a .927 save percentage and 28.0 saves per game, Jonathan Quick (16-11-1) has been the best goalkeeper for the Kings this season. If the Kings decide to give him the night off, however, Los Angeles might go with Darcy Kuemper (5-5-5 record, .934 save percentage, 2.11 goals against average).

The Kings will continue to lean on the offensive production from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. Kopitar (39 points) has tallied 17 goals and 22 assists and has recorded multiple points 11 times this year. Brown has 12 goals and 16 assists to his credit and has notched at least one point in 18 games.

On the other bench, Colorado is 16-17 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 2.7 units this season. Through 33 regular season outings, 20 of its games have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just one has pushed. As the visiting team so far, the Avalanche are 6-10 SU.

The Avalanche have converted on 18.2 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 14th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.7 percent of all penalties.

Colorado’s skaters have been penalized 4.2 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 8.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Semyon Varlamov (.908 save percentage and 3.03 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Colorado. Varlamov is averaging 29.0 saves per game and has 11 wins, 10 losses, and one OT loss to his credit.

For the visiting Avalanche, the offense will run through Nathan MacKinnon, who has 24 assists and 15 goals this year.

Colorado Avalanche at Los Angeles Kings Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Colorado is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Los Angeles is 2-0 in shootouts.
  • The over has hit in three of Los Angeles last five outings.
  • Over Colorado’s last ten games, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 2-4 in those games).
  • The Kings this season have handed the third-most hits per game (25.0).