NHL Odds and Prediction: Sharks vs. Oilers (April 28)

NHL Odds and Prediction: Sharks vs. Oilers (April 28) article feature image

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

  • The Sharks travel to Edmonton to take on the Oilers, who are coming off of a monster win over the Penguins.
  • The Oilers are clearly the better team, especially as the Sharks prep for the offseason.
  • Greg Liodice breaks down the matchup and explains, in detail, why Edmonton is the play.

Sharks vs. Oilers Odds

Sharks Odds+275
Oilers Odds-350
Over/Under6.5 (-115/-105)
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

In Northern Alberta, the Edmonton Oilers host the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers have had the upper hand in each of their meetings vs. the Sharks, and in the second-to-last game of the campaign, they will look to sweep the season series.

Things weren’t as smooth this season for the Sharks as they had hoped. After a strong start, they dealt with injury and COVID-19 issues. San Jose started to struggle and fell behind the curve, and now it's looking to build for next season.

Edmonton has bounced back rather smoothly from that horrid skid it endured in January. After hiring Jay Woodcroft as their interim coach, the Oilers have gone 24-9-3 and have slid into the playoffs comfortably.

Sharks Lack Scoring Output

Even though they’ve had a rough season, it doesn’t mean that the Sharks are any short on talent.

Timo Meier is averaging over a point per game and 35 goals, while Tomas Hertl (fresh off of a shiny new extension) has also netted 30 goals. Captain Logan Couture and veteran Brent Burns have produced at a solid rate, as well. The only noticeable injury is Erik Karlsson, who is listed as day-to-day.

Sure, the Sharks have a few talented players that can create for themselves, but as a whole, they have a hard time controlling play. Scoring the fourth-fewest goals per game at 2.59, they also have a poor expected goals rate at a 46.7 xGF%.

One of the problems for them is they create a good amount of high-danger chances, but score the fifth-least league wide. Not only that, but their power play is lacking, scoring only 18.57% of the time.

Defensively, San Jose is fairly average. While they allow 3.14 goals per game, they rank toward the middle when allowing high-danger chances and goals.

The one thing they excel at is their penalty kill. They shut down the opposing power play at a fantastic 85.7% rate (third in the league).

Veteran James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen have split starts in goal since Kahkonen was acquired through the trade deadline. Both have done well and provided quality support.

Reimer has played most of San Jose’s starts with a decent .913 SV% and a -0.1 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected). Kahkonen, on the other hand, has a solid .914 SV% in his stint in teal, with a season-long +4.4 GSAx.

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Why Edmonton is Such a Dangerous Bunch

While the Oilers have a talented team, they’re very top heavy, with a healthy supporting cast. You can never ignore the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who have 100 points each yet again.

Evander Kane has proved to be a worthy addition to this team, with 22 goals and 39 points in 41 games. Zach Hyman has also been a great offseason addition with 26 goals.

The only significant injuries for this squad will be Jesse Puljujarvi — who’s day-to-day — and Darnell Nurse — who’s being held out until the playoffs.

With their bounce-back, the Oilers have done a solid job at controlling play. They’ve managed to average 3.46 goals per game with a strong 52.25 xGF%.

Along with that, Edmonton is a dangerous team when creating high-danger chances, ranking third in high-danger goals. When on the man advantage, the Oilers can cause havoc, ranking fourth on the power play and scoring 25.66% of the time.

Defense has historically been a fishy subject for the Oilers, but they’ve managed to perform decently.

With the emergence of Evan Bouchard and the steady presence of Nurse, Edmonton has managed to limit opponents to 3.09 goals a game. The Oilers rank 15th in high-danger goals allowed. The PK could be better, though, with a 79.18% success rate.

Expect to see Mike Smith in this matchup, as the 40-year-old has played lights out throughout the month of April. Smith started the season slow due to injuries and inconsistent play, but now that he’s healthy, he’s provided a spark to an Edmonton team that needs it.

This recent stretch has gone well for his season numbers, as he’s now posting a .913 SV% and a +3.9 GSAx.

Sharks vs. Oilers Pick

Both teams are coming into this game with nothing to gain or lose. Edmonton most likely has the second seed in the Pacific locked up, while the Sharks have been evaluating what they have for next season.

It’s very clear that the Oilers are the superior team, and I’m expecting this game to be a blowout. Edmonton is coming off of a convincing win in Pittsburgh, dominating the Pens, 5-1. They’re also an exceptional team at home, with a 26-12-1 record.

The Sharks, on the other hand, are coming off of a blowout against Anaheim, losing 5-2 at home. They have a poor road record at 14-18-7.

I think the Oilers come out on top very easily.

Pick: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 (-140)

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