Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings Prediction, Preview, and Odds

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Two teams that desperately need a win will go head-to-head when the Los Angeles Kings host the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. EST in the Crypto.com Arena. The Kings are currently 3rd in the Pacific division with 79 points through 67 games, but the Vegas Golden Knights are right behind them with the same number of points. A loss here would drop the Kings into wild-card territory. Meanwhile, the Wild have 74 points through 68 games and they are five points back of Vegas. They need a win to still have a chance at the playoffs. Currently, the Kings are the favorite at a -165 money line while the total is set at 5.5 goals.

Wild Running Out of Options

Minnesota earned a point in their latest contest but couldn't secure a much-needed second point. They lost to the St. Louis Blues by a score of 3-2 in a shootout. Kirill Kaprizov scored and had an assist in the effort while also leading the team with four shots on goal. Marc-Andre Fleury did his best with 35 saves out of 37 chances, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to secure the win.

The Wild are ranked 18th in the league in goals per game with an average of 3.07 and 19th in shots per game with 30.0. Minnesota is 30th in the NHL in face off percentage with a 47.2% win rate and they are 13th in the NHL with a 21.7% success rate on the power play. Kaprizov has the most points with 76 and goals with 35, but Mats Zuccarello has a team-high 44 assists. Joel Eriksson Ek has a +16 overall, highest among forwards while Marcus Foligno has a forward high 57 penalty minutes. Kirill Kaprizov is averaging 21:11 per game of ice time as well, most among forwards. 12 of Eriksson Ek's goals came from the power play and Zuccarello has 24 assists on the power play. Eriksson Ek leads the squad in shots with 232.

Minnesota currently ranks 16th in shots against per game at 30.0, but they are 21st in the NHL in goals against per game with 3.18. They are 28th in killing penalties this year with a kill rate of only 74.3%. Gustavsson and Fleury have split time in net for the Wild, and Fleury has been slightly better despite playing in less games than Gustavsson thus far. Gustavsson has an 89.4% save percentage and a 3.26 GAA while Fleury has a 2.67 GAA and an 90.6% save percentage. Brock Faber has the most points among Minnesota's defense with 38 and ice time with 25:08. Jake Middleton has seven goals to his name while Faber has 32 assists, including nine on the power play. Faber also has the most shots among defenders with 105. Jake Middleton has the most penalty minutes with 70 and Brodin has the best +/- ratio with a +16. Minnesota has two players on the injury report. Eriksson Ek is out until late March with a lower body injury and Jared Spurgeon is out for the remainder of the year with a hip injury.

Can the Kings Keep Their Spot?

Los Angeles will look to get back on track after losing to the Dallas Stars by a score of 4-1 in their most recent outing. Kevin Fiala scored the lone goal for the Kings and Pierre-Luc Dubois had the only assist in the effort. Adrian Kempe and Quinton Byfield led the squad with four shots on goal each while David Rittich made 25 of 29 saves.

The Kings have regressed to the mean in their offensive efficiency after starting out the season red-hot. Currently they are registering an average of 3.01 goals per game (19th in the league). Kevin Fiala has 36 assists on the year and is 1st in points on the team with 58. Trevor Moore has the most goals so far with 25 while also leading in shots with 212. Quinton Byfield has a team-best +17 and Fiala is holding the title for most penalty minutes among forwards with 56. Anze Kopitar has the most time on the ice among offensive skaters with 19:32 per game on average. As a unit, the Kings are 5th with 33.0 shots on goal per game, 14th with a 21.7% success rate on the power play, and 14th with a 50.3% win rate on face-offs.

Drew Doughty has been the staple of the Kings's defense for years. He currently has a team-high 25:49 of ice time per game on average and is the only defender with at least 25 points on the year. His 14 goals (six on the power play) and 28 assists (11 on the power play) also lead the defenders. Matt Roy has 116 shots on goal and Andreas Englund leads the team in penalty minutes with 63. Los Angeles is currently 3rd in goals against with an average of 2.58, and they are 4th in shots against per game with 28.4. They are also #1 in the league in their penalty kill, killing 86.4% of their penalties. Cam Talbot has started the majority of games so far and has an impressive 2.43 GAA. His save percentage is also high at 91.7%. Rittich has performed well as the backup option for Los Angeles, posting a 2.29 GAA and a 91.6% save percentage in 20 games this year. Viktor Arvidsson, Carl Grundstrom, and Pheonix Copley are the players on the Kings listed on their injury report. Arvidsson is out indefinitely with a lower body injury, Copley is out for the year with a knee problem, and Grundstrom is out until late March with a lower body issue.

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Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Simply put, I trust the defense of Los Angeles to shine and their offense will do just enough to earn the win against an injured Wild team. Eriksson Ek is a big loss to Minnesota's offense and their chances to grab a playoff spot are slipping like sand through their fingers. L.A. has won three of their last four meetings against the Wild and they've won their last two games against the Wild when playing in Los Angeles. The Kings have gotten better at home towards the final stretch of the regular season and the Wild are not as good on the road with their 15-15-4 record. Betting the money line on Minnesota has not been profitable this year, and I trust the Kings to secure a much-needed win at home and keep hold of their spot in the division.

Prediction: Los Angeles Kings Money Line (-165)

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


This is tricky, as these two teams either score 1-3 goals or 9-13 goals when they play each other. However, I trust the defense of the Kings more than any other side of the ice. The last three games played in L.A. between these two teams have totaled five goals or under. In addition, Minnesota has hit the under in their last three games overall while the Kings have hit the under in their last five contests overall as well. Los Angeles has a record of 42-22-3 on the under this season and the injury to Eriksson Ek will more than likely limit Minnesota's offensive output. The under also gives us the highest winning potential with better odds, and when it's a toss-up such as this, I tend to lean to whichever side gives us the most profit should our bet hit.

Prediction: Under 5.5

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