Los Angeles Kings (16-6-4) vs. San Jose Sharks (9-18-3)
The Los Angeles Kings take on the San Jose Sharks in a Pacific Division matchup on Tuesday night. The Kings have been one of the hottest teams in the league lately, winning five straight games to improve their overall record. Meanwhile, the struggling Sharks have lost four of their last five contests. NHL free picks today see value with the road favorites to continue their dominance.
The Kings offense has been clicking on all cylinders, led by veterans Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe, along with newcomer Kevin Fiala. Kopitar is tied for the team lead with 26 points, playing solid two-way hockey. Kempe brings speed and skill, also tallying 26 points. Fiala has seamlessly transitioned to his new team, racking up 26 points as well. They face a Sharks defense that has regressed mightily, giving up the fourth-most goals per game at 3.8. Unless San Jose tightens things up defensively, expect the Kings to light the lamp early and often.
Offensively, the Sharks continue to be paced by Tomas Hertl’s 24 points, but lack secondary production behind him. Scoring only 2.7 goals per contest, 29th in the NHL, will make it extremely difficult to keep up with Los Angeles’ attack. Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood has faced the second-most shots in the league and his .900 save percentage leaves much to be desired. With little support in front of him, Blackwood is in for another challenging outing against the surging Kings.
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks Game Info
|Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at 10:30 PM ET
|SAP Center at San Jose
Goaltender Cam Talbot vs. Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood
Cam Talbot has provided steady netminding for Los Angeles this season, posting a 12-5-2 record along with a 2.03 GAA and .927 save percentage. He’s allowed two goals or fewer in four straight starts, backboning the team’s five-game win streak. Talbot should be poised to deliver another strong performance against a San Jose team struggling to finish off drives.
On the other side, Mackenzie Blackwood’s disappointing numbers are largely a result of playing behind the Sharks’ porous defense. He’s faced the second most shots in the NHL and his .900 save percentage indicates he’s been overwhelmed. While he’s shown glimpses of his potential, Blackwood hasn’t gotten much help and projects to be in line for another challenging outing.
NHL Odds/Point Spread: TBD, Total Odds: TBD
The current betting odds are yet to be determined, but given the Kings’ superior record, they are likely to be favored. Bettors should keep an eye on the evolving odds, as they offer insights into how the match is anticipated to unfold.
Los Angeles Kings Betting Trends
The Kings are 5-0 in their last five contests and have covered in two of their previous three. Los Angeles is getting excellent play in net and seeing widespread production across its forward lines. The team is also moving the puck efficiently, owning the seventh-best power play conversion rate at 25.7%. With the Kings scoring four-plus goals in three straight matchups, they should have no issues eclipsing this total against San Jose’s porous defense.
San Jose Sharks Betting Trends
The Sharks have dropped four of five while failing to cover in four straight outings. Defensively, the team ranks bottom-five in goals against per game (3.8), penalty kill percentage (73.3%) and shots allowed (34.5). Unless San Jose tightens up around its net, expect the red-hot Kings to push this total over. The Sharks have seen six or more goals scored in three of their last five contests as well.
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks 12/19/23 Betting Picks
In analyzing both teams’ performance, strengths, and weaknesses, the Kings appear to have a distinct advantage. Their robust offense and solid goaltending position them as the favorites in this matchup. However, the unpredictable nature of hockey means the Sharks, with strategic play and strong goaltending, could present an upset.
When considering prop bets, over/under, and other betting angles, it’s wise to consider the Kings’ strong offensive record and the Sharks’ tendency for high-scoring games. This could indicate a game that leans towards a higher total score. Bettors looking for top live betting website options will find this game particularly intriguing, given the potential for dynamic shifts in play.