Sunday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: San Jose Sharks vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Preview
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Sebastian Aho.
- The Sharks continue their road trip as they travel to Carolina on Sunday.
- San Jose is fresh off an overtime loss on Saturday and are +220 underdogs to upset the Hurricanes.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game below and gives his top pick.
Sharks vs. Hurricanes Odds
|Time||5 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
San Jose will look to build on a strong start to its southeastern road swing, having started by claiming three points from contests in Washington and an overtime defeat Saturday night in Florida.
Life won’t get any easier Sunday though, taking on the league’s second-best team by points percentage in the Carolina Hurricanes, who will enter in a dominant 11-2-1 stretch of play. The Hurricanes are 15-4-1 on home ice.
Can San Jose hang in with another Eastern Conference powerhouse?
Sharks Have Shown Resolve in Road Trip
The outlook may have been bleak around the Sharks following a 3-2 loss in Seattle, in which their top defensive player in Erik Karlsson was injured, followed by a 7-1 thumping at the hands of the Lightning in the team’s return home.
But the club has shown some serious resolve, bouncing back with a quality 4-1 win in Washington before a tough 5-4 overtime loss in Florida on Saturday.
However, it’s hard for me to see them continuing to be among the league’s better club’s moving forward without Karlsson, and I think we could see the situation catch up to the Sharks against Carolina.
Brent Burns skated 33:48 in Florida on Saturday, and my opinion he is certainly a below-average “top” defensemen in his ability to actually play defense. Although plus/minus is a very flawed stat, his -4 mark Saturday was in line with much of his play.
A well-past-his-prime Marc-Edouard Vlasic skated 23:04, and frankly that’s just a lot of minutes being played by two not overly talented defensemen. It will be very hard to hide them heading into an environment in Carolina where the Sharks are not likely to carry more of the play by any means.
The powerplay was very sharp, however, capitalizing on two of three opportunities to help hang around in a building where the Panthers have dominated next to all competition.
It’s unclear whether the Sharks will go back-to-back with their No. 1 in James Reimer here or Zach Sawchenko, who was added to the active roster Saturday with Adin Hill on the IR.
Hurricanes Remain True Cup Contender
Carolina’s 2-1 win over the Devils on Saturday night moved the club back into first place in the Metropolitan Division, where it rightfully belongs in my opinion.
The Canes have posted the league’s second best points percentage with a +48 goal differential, and for my money they have clearly offered the most balanced and consistent play from any of the Metropolitan combatants.
A notably strong 54.40 xGF% over their last 10 is directly in line with their season-long mark, and the excellent makeup of this roster should allow that to continue.
Jaccob Slavin continues to be one of the league’s true elite defenders and offers a legitimate top pairing with Tony DeAngelo on the back end. The two have compiled a 58.6 xGF% throughout 263 minutes together and are compiling a lot of offense where it matters.
Behind them lie two more very capable defensive pairings, with the consistently unheralded play of Brett Pesce anchoring a strong second pairing.
Up front the Canes hold a truly elite Number 1 center with Sebastien Aho and a wealth of dangerous forwards behind him, playing with a notable pace and ferocity most nights.
It’s easy to argue this group is a true cup contender, and for the time being it’s hard to pick many flaws towards the group’s play. The two previous winning efforts this week, however, have come with less urgency and a lower work rate than we are used to seeing from Rod Brind’Amours group, and I imagine they will look to be at their best here.
With Antti Raanta having started Saturday, we should see Frederik Andersen get the start here.
Andersen has been tremendous in his first season with the Canes, stopping .928 % of shots faced with a +20.7 goals saved above expected rating throughout 29 games played.
Sharks vs. Hurricanes Pick
If Carolina can play closer to its best here, it’s going to be a ton for the Sharks defensive unit to handle, particularly if they can lean on those top two pairs which saw big minutes on Saturday.
San Jose has put together admirable efforts so far on this road trip, and three points throughout the two tough contests to start have come well deserved.
But with that said, I still think Carolina’s depth will cause problems for what is a less-than-stable-looking San Jose defensive unit altogether. I think the loss of Karlsson will prove more meaningful moving forward, and this could certainly be a spot where a less-than-impressive defensive unit from the Sharks gets exposed.
If it seems like I’m going to the Carolina well a lot, I am. This will be the eighth time I’ve articled backing the Canes this season, and they have been good to me going 5-2 and +2.55 units.
At +105 for a puck-line cover, I think we have more than enough value to back a Canes team that is truly among the league’s very best to take care of this one handily at home, and I would play that line down to -115.
We also get some bonus value should San Jose not decide to go back-to-back with James Reimer, as Andersen would certainly have to be perceived as an edge in goal compared to any of the other available options.
Pick: Carolina -1.5 (+105) | Play to -115