Round 3, NHL Playoff Picks: Kings, Blackhawks

The past 16 meetings between these clubs have produced 3 overs, 11 unders and a pair of pushes

 

The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings have battled their way back into the Western Conference final but the road back to the Cup goes through Chicago and we have a few betting angles to consider for Round 3 along with a series pick and prediction for game 1.

 

Kings’ netminder Jonathan Quick has been his usual stellar self in the playoffs, allowing just 20 goals in 13 games against the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks. Quick leads all playoff goalies with a 1.50 goals against average (GAA) and .948 save percentage with three shutouts in his last 11 games.

 

LA’s offense only scored three goals on the road against San Jose and they had five tallies in three roadies against St. Louis but with their goaltender “Quickly” regaining his playoff form of 2012, the Kings have been able to grind out close victories while staying under in 10 of 13 games.

 

The Kings have played 1 over and 10 unders in the past when coming off back-to-back divisional games and their recent seven-game series vs. Pacific division rival San Jose has set the table for this matchup vs. the high flying Hawks. Chicago has 1 over and 8 unders this season when coming off back-to-back one-goal victories and the past 16 games between these two have produced just three overs (3-11-2 O/U). Get a complete picture with this SDQL link from SportsDatabase.com:

 

team=Kings and o:team=Blackhawks and date>=20090322

 

We expect to see a similar form in the early going of this series and if LA can steal home ice by splitting the first two games in Chicago they will be well positioned to take the Blackhawks down in this series. NHL odds favor the Hawks -154 to win the series and in what we feel is a tossup between the two best teams in hockey, it makes sense to grab all the plus-money sportsbooks are willing to give.

Series Prediction: Kings (+139) in six games

 

Follow PickSixtySports.com on Twitter for winning SDQL systems and trends daily!