Los Angeles Kings at Colorado Avalanche Free Pick

In a game that features two of the league’s very best penalty-kill units, the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche meet at the Pepsi Center for a Western Conference tilt. Altitude Sports & Entertainment will broadcast the matchup, which gets going at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 22.

Los Angeles Kings at Colorado Avalanche Odds

Los Angeles (+100) is entering this one as the underdog to Colorado (-120), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).

Earning 12.7 units for moneyline bettors, the Avalanche are 40-33 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a remarkable improvement over the 22-60 record from the 2016-17 season campaign. Through 73 regular season matches, 38 of its games have gone over the total, while 28 have gone under and just seven have pushed. This season, the team’s 25-11 SU at home.

Colorado has converted on 21.3 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked third overall, and it’s successfully killed off 84.1 percent of all penalties.

As a team, Colorado has been penalized 4.1 times per game overall this season, 3.8 per game over its last five matchups total, and 4.4 per game over its last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties for just 7.6 minutes per game over its last five matchups, in total.

With a .919 save percentage and 28.9 saves per game, Semyon Varlamov (24-23-6) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Avalanche this season. If the Avs decide to rest him, however, it may turn to Jonathan Bernier (18-13-13 record, .914 save percentage, 2.81 goals against average).

Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen will each look to continue their strong seasons for the Avalanche. MacKinnon (91 points) has produced 38 goals and 53 assists and has recorded two or more points on 25 different occasions this year. Rantanen has 26 goals and 53 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 46 contests.

Over on the other bench, Los Angeles is 40-34 straight up (SU) and has netted 1.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 74 regular season outings, 38 of its games have gone under the total, while 33 have gone over and just three have pushed. Los Angeles’ 21-17 SU as the road team this season.

Los Angeles has converted on 19.8 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked first overall and it’s successfully killed off 84.4 percent of all opponent power plays.

Los Angeles’ players have been whistled for penalties 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five contests. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 6.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Jonathan Quick (.921 save percentage and 2.43 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Los Angeles. Quick is averaging 27.2 saves per game and has 29 wins, 28 losses, and two OT losses to his credit.

For the visiting Kings, the offense will run through Anze Kopitar, who has 53 assists and 29 goals on the year.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche Betting Predictions

Pick: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone under in three of Los Angeles’ last five games.
  • Power plays and penalty kills could play a critical role in this one. The Kings are 15-11 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 27-18 when they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Avalanche are 17-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 25-22 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Los Angeles is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Colorado is 1-1 in shootouts.
  • Colorado skaters have managed 5.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a drop-off from its season average of 6.5 takeaways per game (ranked 21st in the NHL).
  • Los Angeles is ranked 31st overall this season with 4.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down, however, as the team has managed 3.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 2.8 takeaways over its last five.