NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 Betting Preview
Los Angeles Kings vs. New Jersey Devils
Money Line: Los Angeles -120 New Jersey +105
Total Line: 5
West Coast meets East Coast this Wednesday night at the Prudential Center when the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils clash in Game 1 of this season’s best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals. The game is slated to start at 8 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
The Los Angeles Kings paid a handsome dividend at 12/1 odds to win the Western Conference before the start of the playoffs, but you have to wonder how many people actually took advantage of this team’s incredible run to actually get to this point. The Kings are 12-2 overall and a NHL record-breaking 8-0 on the road in the postseason. The total has stayed ‘under’ in eight of their last 12 playoff games.
Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar have provided much of the firepower on offense for LA this postseason with a combined 13 goals and 18 assists, but the driving force behind the Kings run has been the stellar play of goalie Jonathan Quick. He had been rock-solid all season long with a goals-against-average of 1.95 to go along with a .929 save percentage, but he has raised the bar over the past 14 games with a 1.54 GAA and a save percentage of .946.
New Jersey came into the post season also at 12/1 to win its conference and were 25/1 longshots to win it all. The Devils overall record is not as impressive as LA’s, but they 8-2 in their last 10 games after winning four straight against Philadelphia and taking four of six games from the No.1-seed New York Rangers. The total has gone 1-3-3 in their last seven games.
It has been a trio of sharpshooters leading the way for New Jersey in Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, and Travis Zajak. These three have scored a total of 21 goals and 23 assists in 18 playoff games. The Devils have also benefitted from the rejuvenated play of 40-year old goalie Martin Brodeur, who has actually played better as the playoffs have worn on. He comes into the finals with a 2.04 GAA and a .923 save percentage in the postseason.
The Kings have won six of their last seven games as favorites on the road and are 18-5 in their last 23 games as favorites overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of their last five games as road favorites.
The Devils are 5-1 in their last six playoff games as underdogs and have won four of their last five games as underdogs at home. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of their last five games following a win.
The underdog has come out on top in four of the last five meetings and the total has stayed ‘under’ in four of those games. Early in the regular season, New Jersey beat the Kings 2-1 in a shootout as a 107 home ‘underdog’ and a few weeks later as a 155 road underdog, they shut them out 3-0.
Los Angeles has provided a highly profitable ride on the road this postseason, but all good things must eventually come to an end. Stick with the Devils to keep the pressure on Quick all game long to grind out a win.
Betting Pick = New Jersey 3 Los Angeles 2