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Top NHL Odds, Picks & Predictions: Kings vs. Canucks (11/18)

by November 18, 2022
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We have a one-game slate of hockey on Friday, with the Vancouver Canucks hosting the Los Angeles Kings. Below, I give out my best bet for Friday’s Pacific Division tilt.

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Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

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Los Angeles Kings (-115) @ Vancouver Canucks (+105) | O/U 6.5 (-105/-115)

These two clubs enter this contest in opposite forms: the Kings have won five of their last six games, while the Canucks have lost four of their last six. Those trends should continue in this matchup as goaltender Thatcher Demko is slated to take the crease for Vancouver.

Currently undergoing the worst season of his career, Demko is a shocking 1-8-2 through 11 starts with a .877 SV% and 4.02 GAA. His metrics suggest that a ton of positive regression is not likely, as he ranks 22nd among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5v5.

Over his last nine starts, the Canucks have failed to win the first period eight times. In front of Demko is a struggling group that ranks just 24th in the league at 5v5 in both expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).

Meanwhile, at 5v5, Los Angeles ranks 15th in the league in xGF/60 and fourth in xGA/60. More than anything else, this play is a fade of Demko and the Canucks, although the Kings are a better hockey team than their 11-7-1 record suggests.

If these teams are tied at the end of the first period, then this wager is graded as a push.

Best Bet: Kings First Period ML (-120)

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Tony Sartori is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Tony, check out his archive and follow him @tony_sartori.

Hockey, Picks