NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs Wild (Sunday, March 3)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs Wild (Sunday, March 3) article feature image

(Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images). Pictured: Kirill Kaprizov.

Sharks vs. Wild Odds

Sunday, March 3
7 p.m. ET
Sharks Odds+275
Wild Odds-350
Over / Under
-120o / +100u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the San Jose Sharks vs. Minnesota Wild on Sunday, March 3 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

The Wild are in desperate need of two points, as a stretch of three straight regulation losses has tanked their playoff odds. They are priced as -340 favorites to win Sunday, which is the most they have been favored to win a game this season by a considerable margin.

Find out how I'm targeting this lopsided matchup below.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks took one of the best teams in the league to a shootout last night in Dallas, which might seem like an indicator of scrappy play. A look under the hood though, and the game was another clear picture of the Sharks' awful defensive play. The Stars generated 4.87 expected goals in the game and missed some excellent chances.

Over the last 10 games, the Sharks have allowed 4.24 xGA/60, the worst mark in the league by a significant margin. They have allowed 36.04 shots against per game.

It might slide under the radar because not too many people are following the Sharks too closely, but they are also quietly playing without several of their more effective NHL regulars right now. Logan Couture, Tomáš Hertl and Alexander Barabanov are all top-six regulars who will remain sidelined for this matchup.

Mackenzie Blackwood is the Sharks' best goaltending option, and he is also on the IR. As Magnus Chrona started in net last night in Dallas, so we should expect Kaapo Kähkönen to play Sunday. Kähkönen owns a 2.5 GSAx and .898 save percentage across 29 games played.

Minnesota Wild

The Wild came out of the All-Star break in dominant form, going on a 7-1-1 tear to sneak back into the playoff mix. Their superb top line of Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy was the driving force during that tear, as they combined for 47 points.

In 233.6 minutes of even-strength play, Kaprizov, Eriksson Ek and Boldy have played to a 61.2% expected goal rating, the fourth-best mark of any line to skate over 200 minutes together.

Suddenly, the Wild have lost three straight matchups in regulation to the Hurricanes, Predators and Blues, only scoring four times in those games. Depth scorers have not picked up the slack with the top line finally struggling to produce for a few nights, which has illustrated how reliant the Wild will be on their top unit if Boldy, Eriksson Ek and Kaprizov stay together.

The Wild could be particularly reliant on their top unit tonight given their current injury situation. Marcus Foligno, Frédérick Gaudreau and Pat Maroon all missed yesterday's contest. Marcus Johansson left yesterday's matchup and is considered day-to-day for this game.

Since Marc-André Fleury got the start yesterday in St. Louis, we should expect Filip Gustavsson to play Sunday. Gustavsson has played to a -6.6 GSAx and .893 save percentage across 36 appearances this season.

Sharks vs. Wild

Betting Pick & Prediction

This is a far tougher back-to-back spot for the Sharks, who played last night in Dallas. They are missing some key bodies now and are an excellent target for opposing stars in terms of points and shot generation. They have allowed the most goals against in the league and there is no reason that should change moving forward.

Targeting Kaprizov, Boldy and Eriksson Ek's props will be the most popular way to bet this game, and I am in favor of the square play in this spot. The Wild will likely be without three or four regular top-nine forwards themselves. Despite the fact they are a gigantic -340 favorite, I actually think in the majority of game scripts we still see big minutes played by their top line.

My favorite two looks are backing Kaprizov to record over 1.5 points at +112 and Boldy to record over 3.5 shots at -122. Backing Kaprizov and Boldy to record over 1.5 points each at +350 on Bet365 is also worthy of a smaller play.

Pick: Kaprizov Over 1.5 Points (+112 via Betrivers; Play to +105) | Boldy Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (-122; Play to -130)

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