The Los Angeles Kings (29-19-7) visit the Columbus Blue Jackets (28-25-1) Friday at Nationwide Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+). Below, we look at the Kings vs. Blue Jackets odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
This is a battle of two teams fighting for a playoff spot in their respective conferences. The Kings have dropped their last two games, but they previously won seven of eight. The Blue Jackets have also won seven of 10, and this will be a tough one against an evenly matched opponent on home ice.
Columbus RW Patrik Laine has scored 14 goals in the last 13 games. He’ll have to lead the charge Friday night for the underdog Blue Jackets.
Kings at Blue Jackets odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:16 a.m. ET.
Money line: Kings -145 (bet $145 to win $100) | Blue Jackets +120 (bet $100 to win $120)
Against the spread (ATS): Kings -1.5 (+160) | Blue Jackets +1.5 (-210)
Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -130 | U: +105)
Kings at Blue Jackets projected goalies
Cal Petersen (14-8-1, 2.74 GAA, .899 SV%, 1 SO) vs. Elvis Merzlikins (19-14-1, 3.40 GAA, .904 SV%, 2 SO)
The 27-year-old Petersen has been used a lot of late, and he has answered the bell with a 2.01 GAA in January and a 2.71 GAA in February. He will give up some goals, though, as he has spotted opponents at least two goals in 10 straight games.
Speaking of spotting goals, Merzlikins has allowed three goals or more in eight of nine games. He has come around, though, with a 3.50 GAA in February following a 4.64 GAA in January.
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Kings at Blue Jackets odds, lines, picks and predictions
Blue Jackets 4, Kings 3
The home team is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams. So, we’re going to give a slight lean to BLUE JACKETS (+120) on friendly ice. Laine and Co., are ninth in the NHL with 3.3 goals per game, and they’ll need to score four or five to win this one.
Against the spread
We’re going to PASS on the spread here. The Kings are favored, and the Blue Jackets +1.5 (-210) offers no value.
The OVER 6.5 (-130) is a solid bet here with two goalies prone to looking behind them. The Over is 6-0-2 in the last eight Blue Jackets games against the Western Conference and 7-2-2 in their last 11 as underdogs.
Conversely, the Over is 5-0 in the Kings’ last five against the Eastern Conference and 5-0 against teams with a winning record.
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