The Colorado Avalanche head to Staples Center in LA on Tuesday night to open a two-game set against the Los Angeles Kings, so here’s the best betting pick for this West Division showdown, as the 2021 NHL season continues with Week 2 matchups.
The Avs have dropped eight of their last 11 games against the Kings, but they opened as firm favorites for Tuesday’s clash on BetAmerica Sportsbook. While Los Angeles is trying to rebuild, Colorado is a top fave to win the 2021 Stanley Cup with the odds at +650.
The Avalanche humiliated St. Louis for their first win in 2021
The Colorado Avalanche (1-1-0) started the new season with a two-game home series against the St. Louis Blues. After a 4-1 defeat in the opener, the Avs bounced back with an 8-0 thrashing off the Blues as -140 favorites this past Friday.
Interestingly, the first period of Friday’s game was finished in a goalless tie. The Avs scored four goals in the second and added four more in the third period, as seven different players found the net including LW Gabriel Landeskog who netted twice.
Philipp Grubauer got his second straight start Friday night, and the 29-year-old goalie posted his first shutout while turning 21 shots aside. Grubauer is the Avs’ first choice, but he should sit out one of the next two games against LA, so Pavel Francouz will get his chance after going 21-7-4 with a 2.41 GAA last regular season.
The Kings enjoyed a painful start to the new season
The Los Angeles Kings (0-0-2) suffered a couple of identical 4-3 overtime losses in Week 1. They hosted the Minnesota Wild as +120 and +125 underdogs, and the Kings blew a 3-1 lead on both occasions.
Interestingly, the Kings conceded first in each contest but managed to overcome the first-period deficit with three goals by the end of the second period. Allowing three unanswered goals to the Wild in two straight outings at home is a huge disappointment, and the Kings might need some time to get over it.
Jonathan Quick guarded the cage for the Kings in the opening week, recording 23 saves in the opener and 40 in the second game of the Wild series. Calvin Petersen waits on his season debut, and he was 5-3-0 with a 2.64 GAA in five starts last season.Trends:
- 19-10 in the last 29 games overall
- 4-1 in the last five games played in January
- 1-7 in the last eight tilts played in January
- 7-13 in the last 20 games as underdogs of +135 or more
The Winner Prediction
The Kings finished the previous season on a seven-game win streak, though they ended seventh in the Pacific Division with a 29-35-6 record and missed the playoffs. They opened the new season on the wrong foot, and making amends against the fired-up Avalanche is going to be a tall task.
Colorado put on a terrific performance in that 8-0 win over the Blues. The Avs have so many dangerous weapons in their arsenal, and I think they will dominate the Kings offensively. Los Angeles has allowed 44 shots last time out, and I’m looking for more of the same Tuesday against one of the best offensive teams in hockey.
NHL Picks: Take Colorado at -200
The Kings combined for 67 shots through their first two outings while allowing 71 in a return. I wouldn’t be surprised if they score a couple of goals against Colorado, but the Kings obviously have some serious defensive issues, so I will be upset if the Avs score less than three.
However, the Kings know their enemy, so I assume they’ll be playing cautiously, trying to stay focused on the defensive end. After a fiasco in a two-game set with Minnesota, the Kings cannot allow the Avs to take control early.
The under is 7-3 in the last ten encounters between the Avs and Kings, and seven of those ten contests produced fewer than six goals in total.
Pick: Go under 6.5 goals at -175