It’s a battle of the coasts as the LA Kings travel to face off against the New York Rangers Friday night at the Madison Square Garden. The Kings are playing some of the best hockey in all of the league while the Rangers are in a bit of a slump recently. Either way, oddsmakers have split the 12/15 NHL free pick right down the middle with a -110 line on both LA and New York. There’s some decent action coming in on the Rangers too…but why?
Kings Have Been a Great Bet Lately
The Kings lost their last game, 1-5 against the Devils on two nights rest and as -110 road favorites. That shouldn’t be too much of a cause for concern for LA bettors however. The Kings won eight straight games before that, plus New Jersey isn’t bad as they are in third in the Metropolitan. Giving up five goals on 26 shots was a rough outing for LA’s Jonathan Quick, but he’s still allowed 2 goals or less in eight of the previous nine games. Behind Quick the Kings boast the NHL’s #1 defense in both goals allowed and penalty kill. Overall LA has allowed two goals or fewer in 7 of their last 9.
LA is 12th in the league in goals scored and 17th in shots. They’ve been scoring on this recent winning streak too with 3+ goals in 7 of the last 10. Anze Kopitar is 5th in the NHL with 38 points and he’s hot lately with 9 points in the past five games. LA is both scoring and stopping their opponents heading into the 12/15 NHL free pick.
“He has to be in Hart Trophy consideration at this point, for me, given how well LA has played and given how good he is in every area of the game.” – @MikeKellyNHL @AnzeKopitar & the @LAKings take on the #NYR right here at 7pE. pic.twitter.com/vDNo1788vF
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) December 15, 2017
Why the Rangers Love From Bettors?
New York is 12-5-1 at home this season which is great, but LA is also 10-4-1 on the road. New York has dropped three of their last four games mostly because they haven’t been scoring. The Rangers have scored more than two goals just once in the past week but overall sport the #6 scoring offense in the NHL. New York is 16th in shots and 12th in the power play so they should put up a good fight against Jonathan Quick in the 12/15 NHL free pick.
Henrik Lundqvist is in net for the Rangers on Friday night looking to bounce back a bit. Lundqvist has dropped two of his last three starts and has allowed 3+ goals in four of his last six starts. Ahead of Lundqvist is the #24 defense in shots against and the #15 D in goals allowed.
— Rangers Report (@ranger_fanly) December 15, 2017
12/15 NHL Free Pick – Betting
Bettors are split almost right down the middle in the 12/15 NHL free pick with a slight 52% favoring the Kings. New York was a slight -120 favorite at the open but that has dropped to a dual -110 spread for both teams. It’s hard to go against LA in this contest. They’ve been playing better hockey lately and have an extra day of rest coming into this contest. You can never feel bad locking in a bet with Jonathan Quick in net, especially with the value oddsmakers have laid out for Friday night.
Pick: Los Angeles Kings -110