NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Sharks vs. Ducks (March 6)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Troy Terry.
- The Ducks host the Sharks as home favorites on Sunday night in Anaheim.
- The Sharks are coming off of an ugly loss on Saturday, but has this created value in a buy-low opportunity?
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the game and gives his best bet below.
Sharks vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The San Jose Sharks will hit the road, but stay in the state of California on Sunday when they travel to Anaheim to take on the Ducks.
San Jose has had a mediocre season up to this point, entering this matchup with an overall record of 24-25-6 after a loss against the Predators on Saturday. Anaheim is in a similar position, but has had a little more success and comes into this matchup with a 26-22-9 record.
Even though both squads are near the bottom of the Pacific Division, this should still be an interesting matchup. Will we see Anaheim beat the Sharks for a second time this season, or can San Jose find a way to steal a win on the road?
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks’ front end of their back-to-back could not have gone any worse, allowing Nashville to score eight goals while they failed to put any pucks in the back of the net.
The score clearly shows that San Jose was dominated in every aspect of that game, which was also evident when looking at their shots on goal. In 60 minutes of game time, the Sharks only managed to put 20 shots on goal, while they surrendered 36 to the Predators.
Sub-par play on the offensive end of the ice has been a problem for this team for most of the season. Through 55 games, San Jose is scoring just 2.04 goals per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 situations, the second lowest in the NHL behind only the Blackhawks. They’ve also scored just 92 total goals in similar situations this season, further proving this is an offense that has had their fair share of problems.
The defense has run into some issues as well, posting an xGA/60 of 2.56, which ranks 20/32 in the NHL. That number has risen to 2.71 when the Sharks are the road team, which is the fifth worst in the NHL and only further exemplifies that this is a team with plenty of holes to plug.
Zach Sawchenko is going to try to plug those holes with stellar play in net, but that is not going to be an easy task. Sawchenko was forced to enter the game on Saturday in relief and will likely be tasked with playing for two nights in a row, and in 5-on-5 this season he has an SV % of .925 and 1.3 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
The Anaheim Ducks began the 2021-22 season on quite the hot streak, at one point being the No. 1 team in the Pacific Division. However, it appears that their luck has run out, and now the Ducks find themselves in fifth in the Pacific with an uphill battle facing them in order to get back to the top.
One reason for the downfall has been because of their lack of any sort of scoring attack. In their last 25 games, the Ducks have just 2.26 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60), which is the fifth worst mark in the NHL.
But, when playing on their home ice, the offense improves dramatically. At home this season, Anaheim has managed to post an xGF/60 of 2.48 in 5-on-5 and has scored 88 total goals, so being back in their home arena should benefit them in this one.
In addition, the Ducks find themselves in the top half of the NHL in both High Danger Chances Against per 60 minutes (HDCA/60) and GA/60 on their home ice, signaling that their play on both ends of the ice takes a turn for the best at home.
Sharks vs. Ducks Pick
San Jose put together one of the more atrocious performances of the NHL season on Saturday. It will be very hard for them to play that poorly again, but I’m not sure they will be able to turn things around fast enough to compete at a high level in this one.
The Sharks’ defense is far from impressive while on the road, and given that this will be their second game in two nights, I don’t expect their defensive play to take a turn for the better.
The Ducks have clearly fallen from their early season highs and overall have not been an impressive offense, but their play on their home ice is still something worth backing, and I think they can take advantage of a tired and poor Sharks defense. As a result, the puck line is a bet worth taking a swing on in my eyes, especially at +150.
Pick: Ducks -1.5 (+150)