Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers Prediction: Should You Fade the Kings?

Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers prediction and pick from handicapper Jason Yamaguchi in his debut article with OddscheckerUS. The Rangers continue their West Coast road trip with a visit to Los Angeles. With the Rangers getting healthier, now is the time to sell high on the Kings.
Jason Yamaguchi |
Mon, January 10, 3:10 PM EST | 4 min read
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Artemi Panarin Rangers Faceoff

Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers Prediction: Should You Fade the Kings?

Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers

Date: Monday, January 10

Game Time: 10:30 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN+

Puck Line: Kings -1 (+188)

Click Here for Kings vs Rangers Odds

Kings vs. Rangers Puck Line

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Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers Prediction

On Monday night, the Kings (17-13-5) will host the Rangers (23-9-4) at Crypto.com arena. The matchup will mark the Rangers' third game of a five game road trip; they split the first two, losing to the Golden Knights on Thursday before defeating the Ducks on Saturday. For the Kings, this will be the third game of a four-game homestand. Both teams have won three of their last four.

After starting the year with just four wins in their first 14 games, the Kings find themselves sitting in a wild card spot with 39 points. Their last outing, a 4-0 victory over the Red Wings in which the Kings doubled them in shots (42-21), was impressive. LA will look to continue their upturn in form, but that may prove difficult. Four of their next six games will be against top 10 NHL teams in terms of point percentage, and that starts Monday against New York.

The Rangers have overperformed expectations to this point. They currently sit in second place in the Metropolitan division with 50 points, one ahead of the third-place Capitals. The fact that they have stacked so many points early can be largely attributed to excellent goaltending, elite special teams, and well-timed scoring. Igor Shesterkin has emerged as a Vezina contender—he has saved 17.4 goals above expectation, which ranks second in the NHL. Now, his status for this game is up in the air due to his presence on the COVID-19 list. That being said, backup Alexandar Georgiev has been solid of late—goaltending should not be an issue for New York, no matter who starts. At the other end, LA will likely turn to Jonathan Quick, who has enjoyed a resurgent stretch of games over the last couple of months.

Special teams may doom the Kings in this spot. The Rangers have a deadly power play, one that ranks third in the NHL by xGF/60. By contrast, the Kings' penalty kill unit is abysmal, as their kill rate of 74.8% ranks just 27th. On the other side, LA's mediocre power play will match up with New York's elite kill, one that ranks 4th with a kill rate of 84.8%. Both of these matchups lean heavily in the Rangers' favor.

One key factor that may come into play is that the Rangers are getting star winger Artemi Panarin back from the COVID-19 list. Panarin is tied for 12th in the NHL with 36 points—he will give the Blueshirts a boost upfront.

The Rangers suffered a humbling loss in Vegas, but they responded nicely against the Ducks, dominating the third period to close out a 4-1 victory. Look for them to continue that momentum here against an inferior opponent. The Kings have improved as of late, but their last three wins all came against non-playoff teams. The current line is giving them too much credit—the Rangers are the better team, and should win if they exert their will as they did against Anaheim. Bet the visitors down to -120.

Kings vs. Rangers Pick

New York Rangers ML (-105)

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Jason Yamaguchi
@TopMoneyPicks

Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.

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