NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Sharks
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Juuse Saros
- The Predators travel to San Jose to face the Sharks on Thursday night.
- Not only are the Sharks terrible at home, but Juuse Saros has thrived in San Jose and our expert thinks that indicates some value on Nashville.
- Continue reading for Greg Liodice's best bet.
Predators vs. Sharks Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Coming off the heels of a shootout win, the Nashville Predators head to San Jose to take on the Sharks. The Predators remain in the playoff hunt and have fared well going 6-4 in their past 10 games, but teams ahead of them keep pulling away.
Meanwhile, the Sharks are in rebuilding mode and have put a few of their stars on the trade block. They haven’t had as bad a month as you’d expect — going 4-4-2 in their past 10 — but this isn’t a very good team. Expect them to be in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes this April.
Here’s a look at our odds, as well as our prediction for the Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks.
Nashville will be coming into this game a bit hobbled. Ryan Johansen is out for the season and leading goal scorer Filip Forsberg is day-to-day. Luckily, Roman Josi is among the better offensive defensemen and the Preds can always count on him. Matt Duchene isn’t repeating his incredible year from last year, but he’s still good for a goal here and there.
February has been a terrible month for the Predators to generate substantial offense. Since February 6th, they’re 30th in expected goals with a 43.12 xGF% and own the fourth worst power play in the league.
Defensively, Nashville needs to be better. What was once always an incredible defensive team, now allows way too many expected goals (xGA). The Predators always seem to have their goaltending bail them out.
I would expect Juuse Saros to take the crease in this matchup. Saros is consistently one of the league’s better netminders, playing to a +24.4 goals saved above expected (GSAx) and a very good .916 SV%.
San Jose Sharks
Will Erik Karlsson be traded before the deadline? The veteran defenseman is reminding everyone why he’s one of the best defensemen of our time with 76 points in 58 games. The Sharks won’t be with another trade target in Timo Meier, as he’s dealing with a lower body injury. Behind them, the Sharks have received solid production from captain Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl.
The Sharks have actually been one of the better offensive teams this month. They’ve had a 10th-best expected goals rate of 52.67 xGF% and create the most high danger chances out of all teams.
San Jose is a bit of a mess on the defensive end, allowing over 3 1/2 goals per game. The Sharks are also among the worst in xGA.
I’m curious if we’ll see James Reimer in net. He was out for a month due to injury, but Kaapo Kahkonen didn’t do much to win the job from him with a -14.7 GSAx and an .884 SV%. Reimer has a slightly better -7.0 GSAx and an .898 SV%. It might not matter who steps in the blue paint, but it’s still worth monitoring.
Predators vs. Sharks Pick
This one is a bit tricky. Nashville clearly has the goaltending advantage and is slightly better defensively, while San Jose has the offensive upper hand. I also think with Forsberg and Johansen out, it hamstrings the Predators’ ability to create anything of value.
One aspect to note is that the Sharks are terrible at home. They hold the worst home record (6-14-7) and the Predators are 11-12-3 on the road. Saros is also a monster whenever he plays the Sharks, and even better at the Shark Tank. In five games in San Jose, Saros is 3-1-1 with a .944 SV%.
I just think Nashville is much more sound than the Sharks. While Nashville’s current offensive trend worries me, I trust the Predators more. San Jose is in a bit of an identity crisis and it won’t get better until it sheds a few aging contracts. I’m backing the Predators in regulation.
Pick: Nashville Predators 60-Minute Moneyline (+120)
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