Kings at Canucks Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions for February 29th

Kings at Canucks Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions for February 29th

This article is part of our NHL Picks series.

NHL Picks: NHL Best Bets for Kings at Canucks

The Kings (29-19-10) and the Canucks (38-16-7) hook up at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. on Thursday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on ESPN+.

The Kings were doubled up 4-2 by the Flames on Tuesday, falling by an identical score for the second consecutive outing. Los Angeles has won just once in the past four games, topping the crosstown rival Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in a shootout last Saturday.

The Canucks were on the short end of a 4-3 OT loss against the visiting Penguins on Tuesday, a second straight game which couldn't be decided in regulation. Vancouver topped the Boston Bruins 3-2 in OT on Saturday, its only win in the past six games (1-4-1).

The Canucks have been struggling to light the lamp on a regular basis lately, going for just nine total goals in the past four games, or 2.3 goals per game (GPG). On the flip side, Vancouver has conceded 28 goals in the past six contests, or 4.7 GPG. The struggles on defense and goaltending have been a good recipe for Over results, with the total going high in four of the past six outings.

It's hard to believe that this is the first of four meetings between LA and Vancouver between now and April 6, and both of these teams can affect the playoff seeding of the other rather dramatically over that stretch. The teams split the four-game regular-season series last year, with both teams going 1-1 on the others' ice. The favorite cashed in three of those games, and the Under has hit in eight straight meetings in this series.

Cam Talbot (16-14-5, 2.55 GAA, .913 SV%, 2 SO) is projected to be in the blue ice for the visitors, while All-Star Thatcher Demko (31-12-2, 2.50 GAA, .917 SV%, 5 SO) is expected to get the nod for the home side.

With the Kings struggling to score lately, going 1-3-0 in the past four, and the Canucks at just 1-4-1 in the past six, it's difficult to pick a winner. However, Vancouver is still 20-5-3 at home, and that's the difference here. Back the Canucks as a moderate favorite.

NHL Money Line Bets for Kings at Canucks

  • Canucks ML (-145 at Caesars)

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As far as the total is concerned, again, it's all about the Under. We've seen the total go low in each of the previous eight meetings between these left coast rivals.

Los Angeles has scored just eight goals in the past four games, or 2.0 GPG, while allowing 3.5 GPG. A lack of offense and solid defense and goaltending has been a good recipe for Under results, too. The total has gone low in five of the past six games for the Kings.

Looking to the home side, the Canucks posted an Over last time out in a 4-3 OTL against the Penguins, and the Over and Under has alternated in each of the team's past five outings. The Canucks have been good for just 2.3 GPG in the past four games, however, and they might have difficulty puncturing the crease to beat Talbot.

NHL Totals Bets for Kings at Canucks

  • Under 6 (-105 at Caesars)

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NHL Players Props for Kings at Canucks

Checking out the player props for Thursday's Pacific Division battle, we have one decent option from each side. 

For the home side, All-Star J.T. Miller has been playing with a lot of confidence lately. He has six goals and 11 points with a plus-4 rating and three power-play points during his active five-game point streak -- he's also added a shorthanded goal over that stretch. He has at least one goal in four of the past five outings.

We're actually looking at a couple of Miller props. He has four shots on goal (SOG) in each of the past two contests and in four of the past six outings. As such, Miller Over 2.5 SOG is a strong play. And Miller as an Anytime Goal Scorer, with the way he has been going, is a tremendous value at this price.

For the visitors, Kevin Fiala has been white hot for the Kings, notching a goal in four of his past five games while totaling five points in that span. It's a bit surprising to see Fiala's Anytime Goal Scorer number this high, giving bettors a chance to double up.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Dobish
Hockey writer, unskilled fourth liner, fantasy and gambling industry veteran, handicapper, FSWA's 2011 fantasy hockey writer of the year nominee and four-time FSWA award winner. Twitter: @danieledobish
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