Free Picks: Los Angeles Kings vs Vegas Golden Knights

Curtis Rush
NHL Free Picks – Best Bets of the Week
Kings vs Golden Knights NHL
Los Angeles Kings vs Vegas Golden Knights, NHL, Staples Center

The best sports bet today is taking Vegas with the money line. Betting the Golden Knights is like money in the bank. The Golden Knights lead 3-0 in head-to-head matches and only one game was close. It doesn’t matter who is in nets for Vegas. On Friday, Robin Lehner returned after missing 17 games with a concussion and made 23 saves to lead the Golden Knights to a 4-2 win over L.A.

Kings prone to sloppy play

The Kings are struggling to make the postseason. As it stands, they are on the outside looking in. They are barely above .500 and are 3-4-3 in their last 10. What you see in a Kings game is a tendency to be very loose defending their goal area, which tends to allow for goals like tip-ins, deflections and pass outs from below the goal line.

You can’t be sloppy and beat the Golden Knights, who are one of the top choices in the NHL Stanley Cup odds. They have an incredible +31 goals differential.

When I go about making my NHL picks,  I look at key players. Max Pacioretty, for instance, scored 2 goals in 2:36 in the first period against the Kings on Friday, although the Kings fought back to tie the game 2-2 at one point. Pacioretty is the hottest player on Vegas right now, having scored 4 goals and collected 9 points in his last 5 games.

Often, when I make my NHL predictions, I look at the underdog to see who their top performers are. The Kings look to 2 players to put up offense. Dustin Brown is the team leader in goals with 13, while Anze Kopitar is the hottest Kings player over the past 5 games with 2 goals and 3 assists.

I’m going to shy away from the puck line. The safe market is the money line with Vegas (-120, with 888Sport). I think the total goals market offers high value and I would tend to take the Over here (5.5, -119) with 10Bet because Vegas is the highest scoring NHL team in the month of March, averaging almost 4 goals a game, up from their overall average of 3.36.

As good as Vegas is on offense, it’s their defense that sets them apart. They rank 1st in the league, allowing an average of only 2.21 goals against per game. The Kings are allowing almost 3 goals a game.

The only risk I see in betting Vegas to win is the potential for overconfidence. The riskier bet is taking the Kings on the money line (+235, with 888Sport), anticipating that they are due for an upset victory at home.

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  • Vegas is 5-0 straight up in their last 5 games. 
  • The total has gone Over in 4 of Vegas’ last 6 games.
  • Los Angeles is 3-8 SU in their last 11 games.
  • Vegas is 19-5-1 as the betting  favorite.

I live in the land of ice and snow in Toronto, Canada's largest city. I can't skate very well, but I know sports, especially hockey, after a long career writing about the Toronto Maple Leafs and other teams at the country's largest newspaper, the Toronto Star. Betting on sports can be a rewarding experience when you understand the trends and underlying characteristics of the teams and players before laying down a bet. That's how I hope to point you in the right direction.