NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Oilers vs. Sharks (April 5)
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Leon Draisaitl.
- The Sharks are home underdogs on Tuesday against the Oilers.
- The Oilers have been playing great hockey since the All-Star break, but are they overvalued in this spot on the road?
- Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and shares her best bet below.
Oilers vs. Sharks Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After kicking off their California road trip with a 6-1 win in Anaheim on Sunday, the Edmonton Oilers will be looking to extend their current winning streak to five games when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
While the Oilers are battling for playoff positioning in the Pacific Division, the Sharks appear to be on their way to a third-straight year outside the postseason picture. Heading into Tuesday’s game, San Jose is mired in a three-game losing streak and sits 16 points out of the second Wild-Card spot in the West with 14 games left on the schedule.
Here’s the latest on both teams and your best bet for the match.
Oilers Firing on All Cylinders
After nearly falling out of playoff contention just before the All-Star Break, the Edmonton Oilers have stormed back with a vengeance.
With a record of 17-9-2 since the February festivities in Vegas, the Oilers sit third in the Pacific Division and could still move up. They’re within striking distance of both first-place Calgary and second-place Los Angeles.
The superstars are pulling their weight. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have once again both cracked the 100-point plateau and are the first players this year to get there. Draisaitl has also joined Auston Matthews by scoring 50 goals for the second time in his career, and McDavid just earned the NHL’s First Star award with eight points in Edmonton’s four wins last week.
Offensively, McDavid and Draisaitl have also been getting good run support from their teammates. Newcomer Evander Kane has 28 points in 31 games with Edmonton, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi have helped round out the forward group since returning from their respective injuries.
Over their last 10 games, the Oilers rank third in the league in creating Expected Goals at five-on-five but are ninth-worst at suppressing them. That adds up to a ninth-best Expected Goals Rate overall at 54.64%.
The Edmonton Power Play has also been a strength, tied for second overall for the season with a success rate of 26.2%. However, it hasn’t contributed much to the Oilers’ recent wins; they’ve gone just 2-for-8 over the last four games.
Lineup notes for Edmonton: Mikko Koskinen didn’t dress in Anaheim on Sunday due to illness, but call-up netminder Stuart Skinner has now been returned to the AHL, suggesting that Koskinen should be back in the lineup on Tuesday. He has made the lion’s share of recent starts, but Mike Smith earned the wins in the last two games.
Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane were also missing from practice on Monday in San Jose, but coach Jay Woodcroft said those were just maintenance days.
Sharks Remain Inconsistent
After two grim seasons, the San Jose Sharks have taken a small step forward this year. With 66 points in 68 games, they’re flirting with the .500 mark. They’ve gotten a solid season in net from James Reimer, who’s at 3.6 Goals Saved Above Expected and is under contract for another year. They’ve also gotten good production out of Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl, who are expected to be their offensive pillars going forward.
The Sharks have beaten some good teams this year but remain inconsistent. Injuries have been an issue, although the squad is relatively healthy heading into Tuesday’s game.
San Jose is one game better than .500 at the Shark Tank but kicked off its current three-game homestand with a 5-4 loss to Dallas on Saturday. At five-on-five, they do a decent job of defending but can’t score enough, which puts them 23rd in the league with an Expected Goals share of 46.55%. The Sharks also boast the NHL’s third-best Penalty Kill and are tied for a grim 22nd on the Power Play.
Oilers vs. Sharks Pick
The Oilers and Sharks have met twice since the All-Star Break, and Edmonton has won handily both times — 3-0 at the Shark Tank on Valentine’s Day, then 5-2 back in Edmonton on March 24.
As bettors well know, nothing is ever certain in the NHL. With the Oilers playing their best hockey of the year while the Sharks are playing out the string, it seems highly unlikely that the home team will play spoiler on Tuesday.
This is a situation where it’s worth the risk to back Edmonton on the puck line.
Pick: Oilers -1.5 (+135); play down to +115
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