The Kings have been nearly untouchable in the postseason, but if there's been an Achilles heel, it’s been Game 4’s
at home. The Kings are just 1-3 in Game 4’s but they’re a
perfect 14-0 in every other game. Indeed, the Kings are a perfect
10-0 on the road.
On the other hand, maybe Game 4 was a bit of a turning point for the
Devils. Either that or maybe it was enough of a win to get them to believe in
potentially winning Game 5 as well.
The Devils made some lineup changes in Game 4 and found a
way to come away with the win. It was still a tight contest where they just
managed to find the back of the net three times, which is more than the two
goals they scored in the entirety of the series before that. More importantly,
they finally scored a pair of legitimate goals with Patrik Elias and Adam
Henrique both beating Jonathan Quick straight up.
Don’t be so quick to assume that the Kings are going to
bounce back and cruise in Game 5; history tells us otherwise. Sure, the Kings
have won their other two Game 5’s this postseason but remember that each of
them went to overtime. Just as in Games 1 and 2 in New Jersey, the Devils
should have a good shot to win Game 5 as well.
The key for the Devils is to get the first goal, which
they were able to do in Game 4. The complexion of the game changed when they
notched that first tally and for the first time, they actually looked relaxed
this series. Even after quickly giving back the goal, the Devils calmly found a
way through it.
At this point, the pressure seems to be easing on the
Devils and that thought combined with home-ice advantage and the fact that they
finally found a way through Quick leads me to give them a slight edge in Game
After opening as -120 home favorites, NHL betting has lowered that figure on the Devils to -105. As it's been a low-scoring series so far, the total is set at 4.5
NHL Picks: Devils
Los Angeles Kings vs. New Jersey Devils
We’ve now had back-to-back games where the total has hit
four goals but we have yet to see an OVER in the Stanley Cup final. If you’re a
betting man, it’s tough to lay the money on the OVER and expect one to come in
Both goaltenders are playing out of their minds right now
as Quick has allowed just five goals through four games in the Stanley Cup
final while Martin Brodeur has given up just nine, which is still very
respectable. More importantly, none of the games have ever looked like they
might go over as the first two went to overtime tied 1-1, Game 3 the Kings took
their foot off the gas once they went up 4-0 and in Game 4, the Devils needed
an empty-netter to get the fourth goal.
So far this series, the scores entering the third period
have been: 1-1, 1-0, 2-0 and 0-0. It’s tough hitting the OVER when you need the
bulk of the goals to come in the final 60 minutes.
All of the games have been nip-tuck, tight and low
scoring. Look for Game 5 to continue that trend.
NHL Picks: UNDER
-120 & OVER 4.5 -105 ($100 @ 3.57 pays $357.94)