New Jersey Devils (-105) vs. Los Angeles Kings (-115) Total: 6.5 (O-105, U-115)
A rematch of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals is set to go down tonight, and both the Devils and Kings are entering this matchup on identical three-game winning streaks. The Devils have posted a 6-3-1 record over their past ten games, while the Kings are 7-2-1 over that same sample size. Both franchises are sitting comfortably in playoff positions, and this should be one of the more competitive matchups on this Saturday slate.
The Devils are set to play for the second consecutive night after beating up the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 yesterday. The Kings come in relatively rested after last playing on Wednesday night in a victory against the San Jose Sharks. The underlying numbers might suggest that the Devils have been the better team this season, but the Kings have really started to string together some consistency in the new year and proving to be a legitimate threat in the Western Conference.
Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the visiting Devils are expected to start Mackenzie Blackwood, while the Kings should do the same with Pheonix Copley. The Devils netminder has posted a 5-3-1 record, paired with a .888 save percentage, while Copley has emerged as the team’s top option in goal and has posted a 12-2 record, along with a .904 save percentage.
With Blackwood’s struggles this season and the consistency that Copley has given the Kings, it’s hard not to side with the home team, especially with the Devils playing leg two of a back-to-back. The Kings have also posted a 14-7-2 home record, and although the Devils are strong on the road, there’s too much value in LA’s moneyline price of -115.
Best Bet: Kings moneyline (-115)
The Kings have been a much higher-scoring team than many projected this year, sitting just outside the top ten in goals per game, while the Devils sit in sixth. Over the Devils past five games, four of those contests have seen seven or more goals scored, while the Kings have seen that transpire in three of their past five. Both teams come into this matchup firing offensively, which should create some interesting value here for those who expect a high-scoring game. The total is currently listed at 6.5, with the over priced at -105 and the under sitting at -115. With the recent trends these teams have brought to the table, don’t be surprised if there’s plenty of offense present tonight.
Best Bet: Over 6.5 (-105)
The Devils and Kings both have plenty of offensive weapons that can do damage on any given night. LA has seen some young talent make the jump and contribute at the NHL level, specifically Gabriel Vilardi. The 23-year-old center is playing to his potential after suffering some injuries early in his career and has compiled 17 goals. His big frame and puck skills make him a unique threat for this Kings offense, and he’s continued to get better as the games have gone on. With Vilardi owning a really nice value price of +260 to score tonight, it’s not hard to dive in on targeting him in this matchup.
Best Prop: Gabriel Vilardi to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+260)
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