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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bruins vs. Sharks

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bruins vs. Sharks article feature image
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Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Goaltender Linus Ullmark of the Pittsburgh Penguins

  • One of the NHL's worst teams hosts one of the best when Boston heads to San Jose on Saturday night.
  • Despite the disparity between the teams, the Bruins may still be underestimated with tonight's odds.
  • Below, Nicholas Martin explains why he's targeting the mispriced spread for this late-night game.

Bruins vs. Sharks Odds

Bruins Odds -275
Sharks Odds +220
Over/Under 6.5 (+105 / -125)
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
TV ATTSN-RM
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

One night after a tough 5-4 overtime loss to the lowly Anaheim Ducks, the San Jose Sharks will host the Boston Bruins.

With a 30-4-4 record, Boston is winning at a historically high mark, and it almost seems unnoticed that the Bruins are still 7-0-3 over their past 10 games.

As you’d expect, San Jose is a heavy underdog at +220, but are oddsmakers fully accounting for the gulf between these rosters enough with that number?

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Boston Bruins on Historic Run

As we approach the NHL season’s halfway mark, it becomes an interesting time to acknowledge that the Bruins are currently on pace to finish with the highest point total in the history of the NHL.

Here’s a graph (per StatMuse) that illustrates the all-time greatest NHL sides:

Courtesy of StatMuse

The Bruins are currently on a 141-point pace through 38 games (1.68 PPG, .842 point %). As you can see above, that would have Boston smashing the previous record.

It’s worth noting that the NHL’s current system that employs a winner in every contest and a point for overtime/shootout losses is favorable to racking up all-time points totals.

What Boston is doing is unheard of, and the team enters this matchup still at near full-health with Jake Debrusk the only meaningful absence. It seems realistic the Bruins’ win percentage will not dip meaningfully in the second half.

The Bruins manage the puck as well as anybody in the league, and do so with arguably the league’s best defensive core with a number of elite two-way forwards.

A 54% expected goals rate throughout the last 10 outings is actually somewhat of a decline from what we saw in the early going, albeit still an elite share of the overall play. Couple that rate with some stellar finishers and arguably the league’s best netminder, and it’s no surprise

Boston has won 23 of its 38 total games by two or more goals, and the Bruins own an incredible goal differential of +60, which is 30 goals better than the next-best team in the league.

Jeremy Swayman started Thursday against Los Angeles, so we should see Linus Ullmark in the net for the Bruins on Saturday.

Ullmark is the current front runner for the Vezina Trophy for top goaltender, and has played to a +21.5 goals saved above expected rating and .939 save % throughout 25 games played.


San Jose Sharks Getting Closer to Bedard?

With 32 points in 40 games, the Sharks are now sitting with the fourth-worst points % in the NHL, and they are quietly sneaking their way into excellent lottery position to potentially draft Connor Bedard.

We likely will not see San Jose trend anywhere near Anaheim, Chicago and Columbus big picture considering its far better underlying results, but in another season without potentially three historically bad teams, San Jose’s struggles may be drawing more attention.

San Jose has actually played to a very strong 53.59 xGF% over the last 10 games. That mark has included a number of opponents who get entirely caved in with regard to underlying metrics, however, and the Sharks may be less due for better results than that mark suggests.

The Sharks feature a significantly below-average amount of true scoring talent in the lineup, and both regular netminders figure to continue playing to well-below-average results moving forward.

James Reimer should start Saturday for the Sharks in goal. Reimer has played to a -6.4 goals saved above expected rating and .895 save % throughout 21 appearances.


Bruins vs. Sharks Pick

The gap between the NHL’s most elite sides and the league’s very worst is beginning to appear far wider in this 2022-23 campaign than we have seen throughout much of the salary cap era.

On top of that, the gap between the Boston Bruins and any other team has been quite meaningful.

The Bruins catch the Sharks on the second night of a back-to-back here, and looking away from the square take in this matchup does not make much sense. Boston is the better team by a heavy margin, and I think if anything, -260 underestimates the Bruins’ chances to win this game.

Boston has covered the spread in in 60.53% of its games this year, yet the Bruins are still available at -105 to do so tonight in this matchup. It’s quite likely that percentage trends down moving forward. But not tonight against a very weak San Jose squad in a bad schedule spot, where -105 is still a good number.

Pick: Boston Bruins -1.5 -105 (Play to -120)

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