Avalanche vs. Sharks Odds, Preview, Prediction: Colorado Poised To Start Dominating (November 13)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Darcy Kuemper.
- San Jose makes the trip to Colorado for an NHL matchup on Saturday.
- The Avalanche are big -235 favorites over the Sharks, coming off a big 7-1 victory earlier in the week.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Avalanche vs. Sharks Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
An upstart San Jose squad heads into Colorado to take on the Avalanche on Saturday night, looking to build upon its 7-5-1 start.
Colorado got back to .500 with a 7-1 domination of the Vancouver Canucks Thursday and will look to continue its expected climb up the Central Division standings against a Sharks team that might be overachieving in the early going of this young season.
Improved Results Coming From Injured Avs
The Avalanche looked more like the team people expected them to be this season with all three of Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Samuel Girard in the lineup on Thursday. Colorado absolutely dominated the Canucks from puck-drop en route to a 7-1 rout.
It was a big bounce-back performance from an Avalanche squad that has underperformed in the early going this season, albeit while consistently playing without some of its elite talent.
However, the back end may only remain at full strength for the one contest, as Bowen Byram is day-to-day after a hard collision with Bo Horvat while Nathan MacKinnon remains out.
Even still, the Avalanche currently hold a better IR situation than they have seen much of the young season. The oft-underrated Valeri Nichushkin also returned with a goal against Vancouver.
It just seems like a matter of time to me until head coach Jared Bednar's group starts to consistently produce multi-goal victories like we saw last season, with the roster still arguably better together this season big picture outside of the current loss of MacKinnon.
With a 58.15 expected goals for percentage (xGF%) the last five times out and appearing to have their early season breakdowns under control, the Avalanche's results seem destined to become more favorable to me, especially with an immensely talented roster and defensive core that is closer to full health.
Newcomer Darcy Kuemper has seemed to settle in closer to his previous form in Arizona of late after a tough start to the year and has altogether stopped .911 % of shots on goal as and with a -2.5 goals saved above expected (GSAx) rating.
Can San Jose Maintain Its Hot Start?
San Jose's 7-5-1 start is especially positive when considering the horrendous COVID protocol situation the team fought over the past two weeks, managing a 3-2-1 record while playing with a number of key pieces out of the lineup.
However, I still remain somewhat unconvinced that this Sharks team is very likely headed back to the postseason, although skating in the Pacific Division does offer them a better opportunity.
Better goaltending offers them a huge bonus compared to last season, with James Reimer posting a 6.2 GSAx and .940 save percentage so far in this campaign.
Erik Karlsson is clearly in much better form so far this season, as well as some young talents such as Jonathon Dahlen contributing in the early going. I just am not sure this group will be considerably better than what we saw during a tough season last year.
The underlying numbers altogether haven't been great, with an xGF% of 46.35 overall (just 40.54% in the Sharks' last four games) and when I consider what I expect out of this roster in the long haul, that is not a good indication for continued success.
The Sharks will have a huge chance to prove their legitimacy tomorrow night on the road against one of the league's top teams. I think they'll likely have Reimer in the pipes for this big-time matchup.
Sharks vs. Avalanche Pick
Colorado started the season with multiple elite defenders out but still maintained strong analytics throughout. I certainly feel this roster is destined to post dominant results again as we roll along throughout the season.
San Jose has posted solid results, but the analytics are far from strong. I still have significant questions about the Sharks defensive core against teams like the Avalanche, as well.
As this year moves along, I think we will see the Avalanche progress toward absolutely dominating the league yet again and San Jose playing just about .500 hockey. The next time the Sharks roll into Colorado on March 31, the Avs puck-line will offer considerably lesser odds than +120, so taking that price while we can offers bettors some value.
Pick: Avalanche Puck Line -1.5