Tuesday marks the first match up of the season between the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks. Heading into the contest, the two teams sit at the bottom of the Honda West Division. San Jose holds a 4-5-1 record, while the Kings are 3-6-2 and are on a four game losing streak.
In recent articles, we’ve highlighted the Kings scoring by period and highlighted their first period woes and second period strength. After Sunday’s game against Vegas, the Kings have been outscored 17-6 in the first 20 minutes of play and have outscored opponents 16-8 in the middle frame. The good news for LA is that second period statistic bodes well for tonight’s match up. San Jose’s opponents have beaten them up to the tune of 18-5 in the second.
While the Kings are still missing Sean Walker and Matt Roy, San Jose is still a very beatable team. Martin Jones and Devan Dubnyk aren’t world-beaters in net and the Sharks aren’t much of an offensive threat. Their 2.5 goals scored per game average puts them 26th in the league, while their team save percentage of .890 ranks 25th.
Let’s look at some smart bets for Tuesday’s game:
Under 6 goals
On the season, both teams average right around 2.5 goals scored per game. Three of their last five match ups have seen the under win, with a fourth game ending in a push, meaning it hit the listed over/under total exactly and all bets are refunded. Look for tonight’s game to be a low-scoring affair. DraftKings has odds on the under set at -120.
Erik Karlsson under 2.5 shots on goal
One similarity both the Kings and Sharks share is a former elite-level defenseman eating up a large amount of cap space for a long time. While Karlsson averaged nearly three shots on goal every year during his prime scoring years, that average has dropped much closer to two last year. His season average is only 1.5 shots per game, and he’s struggled to have the same impact on the game as he has had in the past. While -162 odds aren’t anything amazing, this is more about the player’s level of play than anything else. Take the under.
Sharks to score first goal
San Jose has been better in the opening frame than the Kings. LA got an Anze Kopitar goal less than a minute into their last game, but his team scoring first is an anomaly. Care to guess how many times the Kings have scored first in a game through their first 11 games on the season? Two. At -115, take San Jose to light the lamp first.
Looking for more betting picks? Make sure you follow @HockeysBestBets for my daily picks from around the league. You can also follow my personal account at @AndyTonge1 for my insight on the Kings and much more. Good luck and happy betting!