Kings vs Wild Betting Odds Preview: Sharp Offense Meets Steely Defense

If Offense Wins Games But Defense Wins Championships…

Wild Favored to Cool Off Red-Hot Kings

What happens when the unstoppable Los Angeles Kings visit the immovable Minnesota Wild? Well, per the Kings vs Wild betting odds, the latter wins. Los Angeles has been on fire since the All-Star break and are undefeated. It has scored at least five goals in each of these four games. Meanwhile, Minnesota has not allowed more than three from opponents in its last five home games. The total is set at six goals with the juice on the ‘under’.

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Game: Los Angeles Kings (32-18-7) vs Minnesota Wild (30-21-5)
Location: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
Day/Time: Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Broadcast: Bally Sports West, NHL TV

The Offense is the Best Defense for the Kings

Through 57 games, the Kings have allowed the tenth-most goals in the NHL. All the other nine teams that have allowed more are not in a playoff position. In fact, the Kings are the only playoff team on the NHL league standings with a negative goal differential (-1). That’s thanks to their offense, which has been more than prolific.

The Kings are also scoring the ninth-most goals in the NHL. The team is more potent than better teams like the Rangers and the Hurricanes. Los Angeles is firing at 26.2 percent on the power play, which is the second-best. Most importantly, Los Angeles can score when it matters. Its game against Arizona was a microcosm of the team’s season as Los Angeles blew a lead but salvaged the extra point with a shootout win.

“It’s obviously a big trap when you take a lead by that much,” Kings center Phillip Danault said. “We got caught again, but big character win.”

While the Kings have notoriously blown several leads, the team is still 21-2-1 when it leads after two periods. And on the road, the Kings are undefeated (12-0-0) when it has a lead after the first period. The key for Los Angeles is to start fast. It averages over 2.3 goals in two periods, which is the eighth-best in the NHL. If it can assert its offensive will quickly, the Kings vs Wild betting odds should flip to favor Los Angeles.

Wild Have Little Room for Error

While the Wild are known more as a responsible two-way team, Minnesota can also be clutch in its goal-scoring. Against Nashville, the Wild saw a similar situation Los Angeles faced against Arizona: it blew a lead late in the game. Minnesota blew a two-goal lead with five minutes to spare. Fortunately, Ryan Hartman scored in the waning seconds to lift the team.

“When we’re up 3-1 there with less than 10 minutes to go and they come back to 3-3, it’s always mentally tough there,” Minnesota goalie Filip Gustavsson said. “‘Hartzy’ came through there with 4-3 with 20 seconds left.”

However, Minnesota can’t be reliant on clutch scoring all the time. The team is just 25th in the NHL in goals scored per game (2.88). They are the least potent of the top-16 teams in the NHL. This is why the Wild need to maintain their defensive efficiency. The Wild are 28-6-2 when they hold opponents to three goals or fewer but just 2-15-3 when they don’t.

Minnesota is typically lined as a favorite on the NHL betting lines. The Wild are 26-15 (26-13-2) as one but just 3-10 (3-9-1) as an underdog. It means when the team is outmatched either offensively or defensively, it does not have the extra gear to overcome it. Against Los Angeles, the Wild will have to neutralize the Kings’ offense right away.

The Wild have won over 73 percent of its home games against Minnesota. This is why the Kings vs Wild betting odds favor them. Minnesota has also allowed Los Angeles to score more than three goals in two of their last 10 matchups. They lost both games. Minnesota can end their homestand with a dominant win here but it will take nearly 60 minutes of mistake-free hockey.
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