The Colorado Avalanche will try to snap a two-game losing skid when they travel to Crypto.com Arena tonight to take on the Los Angeles Kings.
The visitors may have to do so without their leading scorer, however, as Cale Makar left Saturday’s contest with an undisclosed injury.
Meanwhile, the Kings skate into this contest with five wins in their last six games, having allowed just seven goals over that span.
Find out which of these Western Conference titans will come out on top in my Avalanche vs. Kings NHL picks for Sunday, December 3.
Avalanche vs Kings odds
Avalanche vs Kings predictions
It should be a great matchup tonight as the Los Angeles Kings (.725 P%) and Colorado Avalanche (.696 P%) enter Sunday as the NHL’s third and sixth-best teams, respectively, according to points percentage.
Los Angeles, in particular, has been really impressive this season, ranking first in the league in goals per game (3.85) and second in goals against per game (2.32).
Cam Talbot, Los Angeles’ likely starter tonight, has been a big reason for their defensive success through the first quarter of the season. The 36-year-old has had a resurgence between the pipes, posting a stingy 2.02 goals against average along with a .928 save percentage — ranking third and fifth, respectively, among goalies with at least five games played.
Talbot has allowed two goals or fewer in four straight starts, with just six goals against over that span, and has allowed more than two tallies just once in his last nine outings. The Kings have been stingy as a whole during their current 5-1-0 run, outscoring opponents 21-7 while allowing just 1.17 goals per game during that stretch.
With Cale Makar, Colorado’s top point-getter, potentially out tonight, the Avalanche will have to rely almost solely on their two offensive stars, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, who come into the game with 30 points apiece.
Valeri Nichushkin (21 points) is the only other player on the roster with more than 13 points this season, so the offensive depth really falls off a cliff.
Even if MacKinnon and Rantanen get a couple of points each, the Kings should still have a good shot at holding the Avs to Under 2.5 goals if they stick to their defensive gameplan.
My best bet: Avalanche team total Under 2.5 (+110 at DraftKings)
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Avalanche vs Kings same-game parlay
Along with taking the Under on 2.5 goals for Colorado, I’ll look for Los Angeles to score Over 3.5 goals en route to the win.
When you look at the Kings roster, you don’t come away thinking of the team as an offensive juggernaut as Adrian Kempe and Kevin Fiala co-lead the team with 20 points apiece.
Los Angeles boasts impressive depth, though, with 11 players having scored at least four goals so far this season. That’s led to the Kings owning one of the best offenses in the league and scoring at least four goals in four of their last five games.
The Kings have the edge at both ends of the rink and if Makar is indeed out, those advantages will only be magnified further.
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Avalanche vs Kings moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Kings opened as the home favorite at -128 on the moneyline while tonight’s total opened at 6.5. Although the Avalanche have won six straight meetings on the road against the Kings, I like the hosts to snap that streak and cash the Under in this matchup.
I think these clubs are just about on par with each other offensively — especially if Makar is good to go — but the real difference comes on the defensive end, where the Kings just don’t give up much.
Los Angeles ranks first in the league in expected goal share at five-on-five (57.87%) while having allowed just 35 goals against this season at five-on-five — tied for second in the NHL.
Los Angeles also boasts the league’s best penalty kill at 89.4% — a strong counter against a Colorado team that scores nearly a quarter of its goals on the man advantage.
The Kings’ defense should also play a big role in helping this contest cash the Under as they’ve held opponents to two goals or fewer in six straight games and 10 of their last 12 outings.
The Under is 5-0-1 in Los Angeles’ last six home games and 10-1-1 in their last 12 overall.
Avalanche vs Kings betting trend to know
The Under is 15-5-4 in the last 24 meetings in Los Angeles. Find more NHL betting trends for Avalanche vs. Kings.
Avalanche vs Kings game info
|Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
|Sunday, December 3, 2023
|8:00 p.m. ET
Avalanche vs Kings latest injuries
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