Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings - 1/14/21 NHL Picks and Prediction

Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings - 1/14/21 NHL Picks and Prediction Photo by Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings (0-0) vs Minnesota Wild (0-0)

Game Info: Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 10:00 pm (Staples Center)

Betting Odds: Los Angeles Kings -111 / Minnesota Wild -111 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings meet Thursday in NHL action at the Staples Center.

The Minnesota Wild won 35 games last year and had their season end in the qualifying round, meaning they’ve made the playoffs in seven of the last eight years. The Wild made a ton of offseason moves, which includes losing Devan Dubnyk, Mikko Koivu, Eric Staal, Ryan Donato, Luke Kunin and Alex Galchenyuk. The Wild then added Cam Talbot, Marcus Johansson, Nick Bonino and Nick Bjugstad. That’s a lot of moving parts from a team that made the playoffs and it’s not a guarantee they’re going to be better this time around. The Wild were a solid defensive club last season, and the hope is they can take some steps forward offensively. The Wild are an intriguing team, as they can make a division push if everything breaks right or they could fall short of the playoffs entirely. 

The Los Angeles Kings won just 29 games last year and hope to avoid three straight years of missed playoffs since 2006-09. The Kings didn’t lose anybody noteworthy from last years roster, while their one addition was veteran defenseman Olli Maatta. The Kings are in full rebuild mode, which means you want to see young players take that next step in their career. That includes guys like Quinton Byfield and Rob Blake. And while there’s a lot of miles on those legs, Drew Doughty is still one of the better defenders in the league. The Kings won’t win enough to make playoffs this season, but you do want to see respectable efforts as they hope to get out of this rebuild sooner than later.

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The Wild are 9-3 in their last 12 Thursday games and 8-2 in their last 10 road games. The Kings are 6-0 in their last 6 home games and 7-0 in their last 7 overall. The under is 6-1-1 in Kings last 8 home games. The under is 36-17-3 in Kings last 56 overall. The Wild are 1-5 in the last 6 meetings in Los Angeles. The favorite is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings.

It's always a toss up when picking the first game or two of the season, as you're never truly sure what you're going to get. However, on paper, the Wild are the better team here and have much greater expectations for the season. The Los Angeles Kings are in full stage rebuild mode and are going to likely struggle most nights. I'll gladly take the Wild and the cheap price here.

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Randy’s Pick Minnesota Wild -111

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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