NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Sharks vs. Wild (April 17)
David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Kirill Kaprizov.
- The Wild are big favorites tonight against the visiting Sharks.
- San Jose is going nowhere fast and faces a Minnesota team that has dominated at home this season.
- Tony Sartori breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Sharks vs. Wild Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||6 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The San Jose Sharks travel to Minnesota to take on the Central Division’s second-place Wild. This is the third meeting between these two teams this season, with the Wild having won the previous matchup 5-2 in San Jose back in early December.
Will the Wild cruise past San Jose once again, or can the Sharks pull off the upset on the road?
Sharks Have Struggled in Unfamiliar Waters
The San Jose Sharks enter this contest on the second half of a back-to-back following Saturday’s game against the Dallas Stars. San Jose entered that matchup against Dallas having lost eight straight games and nine of their last 10. Of those nine losses, five have been by two or more goals.
The Sharks have not traveled well with season, especially as an underdog. Entering the game against Dallas, they had lost four of their previous five in those situations, with all four of those losses coming by at least a two-goal margin. This season, San Jose was just 13-17-6 when playing away from home before Saturday’s game.
Since they are on the second half of a back-to-back, we can expect James Reimer to get the start in net. Reimer has allowed three or more goals in three of his last five starts, posting a mere 0.891 save percentage over that stretch.
San Jose’s blue line will not do Reimer any favors in this contest. The Sharks currently rank just 24th in the league in 5-on-5 expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA). Their offense has been even worse this year as the Sharks rank 26th in 5-on-5 expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF).
Minnesota Running Wild on Home Ice
Like San Jose, the Minnesota Wild also enter this matchup on the second half of a back-to-back following Saturday’s 6-5 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues. This is a great bounce-back opportunity for the Wild, who are far superior in pretty much every aspect of the game compared to the Sharks.
Minnesota has been playing great hockey lately, having won 12 of its last 16 games. Eight of those 12 wins have come by at least a two-goal margin. The Wild were home favorites in eight of those wins, and six of those eight wins were by at least two goals.
Minnesota should be able to keep it rolling against the Sharks. The Wild rank higher this season in both 5-on-5 expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF) and 5-on-5 expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA).
Since they’re on the second half of a back-to-back, we can expect Marc-Andre Fleury to start in goal for the Wild.
Fleury has been great since coming over to Minnesota, especially on home ice. Over his three starts on home ice with Minnesota, Fleury is 3-0 with an incredible 0.935 save percentage.
Minnesota won two of those three games by at least two goals as it continued its home-ice dominance. This season, Minnesota is 26-7-2 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Sharks vs. Wild Pick
While this is a square pick and the public will also be all over the Wild, I just do not see any reason why not to back Minnesota in this game. It has more to play for, the better defense, offense, goaltending and coaching — and the game is in St. Paul.
This is a matchup that Minnesota has excelled in over the last few seasons, having won four of the last five meetings with the Sharks. Three of those four wins have come by at least a two-goal margin.
Pick: Minnesota Wild -1.5 (+105) | Play down to (-105)
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