Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks Free Pick

In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks meet at Rogers Arena for a divisional tilt. The puck drops at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 30, and fans at home can catch the game live on CBC Sports.

Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks Odds

Los Angeles (-140) is currently favored over Vancouver (+120), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-135 under, +115 over).

Los Angeles is 22-16 straight up (SU) and has netted 3.2 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 38 regular season contests, 20 of its games have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just three have pushed. This 2017-18 Kings team is 11-8 SU on the road.

Los Angeles has converted on just 15.3 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that places them in the bottom-5 overall among NHL teams. Having said that, it has the best penalty kill in the league, and the teams successfully killed off a whopping 87.0 percent of its penalties.

The Kings, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.2 times per game overall during the 2017-18 season, and 5.6 per game over its last five road outings. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays 11.8 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Averaging 28.4 saves per game with a .928 save percentage, Jonathan Quick (17-13-2) has been the top option in goal for Los Angeles this year. If it decides to give him a rest, however, head coach John Stevens might turn to Darcy Kuemper (5-5-3 record, .934 save percentage, 2.11 goals against average).

Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Kings. Kopitar has 40 points via 17 goals and 23 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 11 different games. Brown has 13 goals and 16 assists to his nameand has logged a point in 20 games.

On the other side of the rink, Vancouver is 16-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 22 of its games have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and none have pushed. It’s 7-13 SU as the home team this year.

The Canucks have converted on 21.4 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s good enough for ninth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.4 percent of all opponent power plays.

Vancouver players have been penalized 4.1 times per game in total this season, and 4.7 per game over their last ten outings. The team has had to kill penalties 8.8 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Jacob Markstrom has stopped 26.3 shots per game as the primary netminder in goal for the Canucks. Markstrom has 10 wins, 17 losses, and four overtime losses to his credit and has maintained a subpar .907 save percentage and 2.74 goals against average this year.

The Nucks offense will be led by Brock Boeser (21 goals, 17 assists).

Los Angeles Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks Free Picks

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

Betting Trends

  • Eight of Vancouver’s last ten outings have been decided by two or more goals. The club is 1-7 overall in those games.
  • The Kings are 10-8 SU when they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Canucks are 9-8 SU in games where they serve more minutes than the opposition.
  • Vancouver is 0-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Los Angeles is 2-0 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone over in four of Vancouver’s last five games.
  • Vancouver skaters have averaged 10.6 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 9.2 giveaways per game (ranked 12th in the NHL).
  • Los Angeles skaters have averaged 8.4 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 10.9 giveaways per game (ranked 23rd in the league).
  • Los Angeles skaters have accounted for the third-most hits in the league (25.2 per game).