L.A. Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks Game 1 NHL Gambling Prediction & Lines

Kings vs Hawks Playoff Betting?

Kings and Blackhawks Kick off Western Conference Final Sunday

Game 1 of the Western Conference Final goes down Sunday afternoon in Chicago. The Kings haven`t had much time to savor their Game 7 win against Anaheim in Game 7 of their second round series – they will take to the ice less than 48 hours after that win to take on a Blackhawks team that has been off since Tuesday.

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Los Angeles (54-33-3-6) at Chicago (54-23-9-8)
When: 3:00 PM ET, Sunday, May 18, 2014
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: NBC, RDS, TSN
In Canada? Try Pinnacle Sportsbook
Kings vs. Hawks Betting Lines
Los Angeles Kings +1½ -245 +134 Ov 5 -105
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ +205 -147 Un 5 -105
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The Blackhawks have owned Los Angeles the last couple of years – they beat the Kings 4-1 against in last year`s Western Conference Final and they swept three regular-season games in 2013-14, outscoring Los Angeles 9-4. The Blackhawks won 3-1 and 1-0 at home during a 15-day span in December before a 5-3 win at Staples Center on Feb. 3.

It seems that the Los Angeles Kings need their backs against the wall in order to play their best hockey – they have faced elimination six times and have won each game – but they have lost three straight games twice already in this postseason.

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The lack of rest before Game 1 in the Western Final is certainly the bad news – the good news is that they scored six times in Game 7 Friday night and seemingly everybody enters Sunday afternoon`s game Hot. Five players recorded a goal and an assist on Friday!

Anze Kopitar has 19 points in the playoffs so far, Marian Gaborik has a league-best nine goals in the playoffs, Jeff Carter has 10 points in the playoffs and their supporting cast all showed up in the Kings last two games.
But with exhaustion likely to be a factor Sunday Jonathan Quick may be called on to steal one for the Kings – he is certainly capable of doing so. Although Quick has had his issues in the playoffs his last two starts brought about an understandable sense of optimism heading into the Western Conference Final. He is a difference maker and will have to be again if the Kings hope to jump out to a 1-0 series lead.

Unlike the Kings the Chicago Blackhawks will be rested ahead of Game 1. The Hawks got a good, stern test against Minnesota but prevailed in typically impressive fashion with their Studs leading the way. Chicago`s superstars are in fine form entering Game 1 – Marian Hossa has 11 points so far in the postseason, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each have 10.

Kane and Bryan Bickell lead the Blackhawks with six goals, one more than Toews. Toews has five game winning goals and Kane has four.

Marian Hossa has just two goals but nine assists so far. Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad have struggled with two goals apiece while Kris Versteeg has just one goal in the playoffs so far however. You would think that these guys will get going at some time – to the chagrin of the Los Angeles Kings.

Goaltending and defense were seen as a potential weakness for the Blackhawks heading into the playoffs but Corey Crawford has been very good, outside of a couple of clunkers against St. Louis in the first round.

He has a .931 save percentage so far and is more-than-adequate for and offensively gifted Chicago team.

Dave’s FREE NHL Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
• LA are 19-7 in their last 26 games following a win.
• LA are 8-3 in their last 11 overall.
• Under is 25-10-7 in LA last 42 Sun. games.
• CHI are 8-2 in their last 10 overall.
• Under is 7-2-1 in CHI last 10 Sun. games.
• CHI are 49-17 in their last 66 home games.
• Home team is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
• LA are 7-19 in the last 26 meetings.

The Kings look like they will be heading into Game 1 without defenseman Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr – not a good sign with the Chicago Blackhawks on the horizon. They may return at some point in the series but as long as they are on the sidelines the advantage goes to Chicago.

Add in the fact that LA will be playing less than 48 hours after an emotional Game 7 on the West coast and this looks very much like a Blackhawks win Sunday. Chicago`s dominance over the Kings continues Sunday afternoon!

Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -147

By DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.