Blackhawks vs. Sharks Odds, Picks, Predictions: Preview To Betting Sunday’s NHL Matchup (Nov. 28)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Seth Jones
- After a terrible start to the season, the Chicago Blackhawks are starting to find their form, while the opposite is true for the San Jose Sharks.
- NHL odds position the Blackhawks as slight home favorites over the Sharks on Sunday night. Find out how our analyst is betting this matchup below.
Blackhawks vs. Sharks Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After a dreadful start to the season, the Blackhawks seem to have found their legs across a 6-2 run, including a crucial overtime win over Central Division rival St. Louis in their last contest.
San Jose is trending in the opposite direction after a 4-0 start, as the Sharks now sit at 10-9-1 and are just five points ahead of the Blackhawks.
Will Chicago continue to claw its way back into the Western Conference playoff picture or will San Jose get back on track on Sunday night?
Chicago Improving Under Derek King
The Blackhawks have certainly cleaned things up under interim head coach Derek King. Chicago sits at 7-11-2, which is impressive when given the context of its 1-9-2 start.
The improved record under King looks like a combination of a few things: Better puck-luck, stronger goaltending and perhaps a little placebo effect, as a change was needed to kickstart the team and organization out of a disastrous on-and-off-ice situation early on. Whatever you shape it up to, the team seems to be coming together right now and playing a much better brand of hockey.
Friday’s come-back win over the Blues was a notably positive performance and had all the hallmarks of a win that can energize a roster that has fought through all sorts of negativity this season.
Over their recent eight-game heater, the Blackhawks have been a lot less sloppy in their own zone, posting a 2.27 expected goals against per 60 minutes, which has allowed Marc-Andre Fleury to find his form in goal.
Fleury, who has skated to a .954 save percentage over his last five contests, is likely to get the start after sitting out Friday’s win over St. Louis.
The Sharks Have Regressed
Over the past few weeks the Sharks have started to tumble steadily, playing more like the team most people expected them to be before the season. With a 3-5-0 record and a -10 goal differential, it appears that the Sharks’ defensive woes from the past few seasons are starting to creep back into their game.
Dating back to the 2018-19 season, San Jose has allowed 80.91 more goals than expected per public xG models. That trend has continued of late with the Sharks allowing 2.56 goals above expected over their current 3-5-0 stretch.
Although Martin Jones clearly wasn’t great in goal for the Sharks over the past few seasons, I always thought the team’s defensive issues were a huge part of his struggles. Oftentimes defensive breakdowns aren’t accurately quantified in the expected goals data, as a number of the intricacies which identify the true danger of a shot aren’t indicated in these models. And there are reasons we often see the same groups create or allow more than expected across multiple seasons.
Jones has performed significantly better for the Flyers, who themselves are far from strong defensively this season, and although I’m sure that is in part improved play, I feel some credit should go to the way the team has played in front of him.
San Jose should have a decent opportunity to bounce back on Sunday, though, as the Blackhawks have not been an offensive force by any means.
James Reimer has been confirmed as San Jose’s starter for the contest, and the once-again Shark has been strong to start the season.
Blackhawks vs. Sharks Pick
These teams have started to trend in opposite directions and it really does seem like the Blackhawks are starting to turn the corner, particularly on defense.
I think it’s likely that Chicago will continue to improve its defensive play here and allow Fleury a good chance to continue his recent run of form. It’s a good matchup for Fleury and the Chicago defense as the Sharks are starting to look a little thin on offense.
While I do lean towards a play on ther Under 5.5, I think the most value is with a play on the Blackhawks moneyline, which currently sits at -125.
Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -125 (Play to -135)
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