Friday will be the first time the Kings face the Vegas Golden Knights on the season. It will also be the first game in over a week for the Golden Knights after having three games postponed due to a COVID outbreak, and they’ll have to do so without their prized off-season pickup, as Alex Pietrangelo will not be in the lineup.
How have other teams fared after long COVID-related layoffs? Florida beat Chicago 5-2. Dallas walloped the Predators 7-0. Washington beat Buffalo without three of their better skaters and their starting netminder. While Pietrangelo is a big loss, it might not have the impact one would imagine.
Coming into the game, Vegas holds a 5-1-1 record, with a shootout loss to the Blues and a regulation defeat at the hands of the Coyotes being the only blemishes on their record. After dropping their last game against the Ducks, the Kings are 3-4-2 and will still be without Blake Lizotte or Andreas Athanasiou. Their projected lines are… interesting.
Funnily enough, the Kings have owned the head-to-head series recently, winning four of the last five against Vegas. They’ll get a tough test Friday night. Expect the Knights to come out fast and be hungry after sitting on the sidelines for over a week. Here’s my picks for Friday’s game:
Over 5.5 total goals
Four of the last five games between the two teams have hit on the over. While that might be enough ammo to bet the over, both teams are hampered on the back end. Sean Walker and Matt Roy are out with injuries, and we’ve already mentioned who Vegas is without on defense. Expect an open game with lots of scoring chances both ways. DraftKings has -125 odds on the over.
Kings 2nd period money line
Without looking, what period do you think the Kings have played their best hockey this season? While this pick probably makes it obvious, the stats behind it are quite surprising. LA has been outscored 11-4 and 10-7 in the first and third periods, respectively. That middle frame? 15-6 in favor of the Kings. Clearly, Todd McLellan’s squad has struggled to start games but has made necessary adjustments for the second period. At +170, that’s a great value bet.
Anze Kopitar to score 1+ points
Based on the projected lines, Kopitar will be reunited with Alex Iafallo and Dustin Brown. LA’s number one center has had a great start to the year, and he’s been great in games against Vegas. Last season, he had a point in every contest. He also has 14 points (6-8) in 13 career games against the Golden Knights. Betting is all about following the trends, and we like the trend of Kopi staying hot in Sin City.