Wild vs Ducks NHL Betting Odds & Picks: Back Anaheim at Home
Via Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Strome #16 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on November 01, 2022 in San Jose, California.
- The Wild are road underdogs on Wednesday night when they face the Ducks in Anaheim.
- However, Anaheim has a situational spot advantage with an extra day of rest.
- Tony Sartori breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Wild vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Wednesday’s nightcap on TNT features a Western Conference tilt with the Pacific Division’s Anaheim Ducks hosting the Central Division’s Minnesota Wild. Last season, the over hit in two of the three meetings between these two clubs.
Will we get another high-scoring affair, or can the goaltending step up this time around?
Will Gustavsson Step Up for the Wild?
The Minnesota Wild enter this contest on the second half of a road back-to-back following last night’s 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Since they are on a back-to-back, backup goaltender Filip Gustavsson is slated to take the crease.
Through three appearances between the pipes this season, Gustavsson is 0-3 with a .878 SV% and 3.92 GAA. If he qualified, Gustavsson would rank second-last among starting goaltenders in Goals Saved Above Expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5v5.
These numbers are not the result of a small sample size either. Gustavsson started his NHL journey with the Ottawa Senators and looked fantastic in his debut season, going 5-1-2 with a .933 SV% and 2.16 GAA through nine appearances.
However, regression hit him hard in his sophomore season when he served in a bigger role as a rotational goaltender for Ottawa. Through 18 games, he went 5-12-1 with a .892 SV% and 3.55 GAA.
Continuing to trend downward at the start of this season, we should expect more of the same from the Wild’s backup netminder going against a capable Ducks offense.
The Ducks Look to Capitalize on Their Rest Advantage
Following a seven-game losing streak in the middle of October, the Anaheim Ducks have started to play better recently and enter this contest having won three of their last five games. Anaheim scored at least three goals in all five of those games, a trend that should continue on Wednesday night against a struggling Gustavsson.
Entering this game on two-days rest while Minnesota is on the second half of a road back-to-back, the Ducks should create plays with their speed and catch a tired group off guard. Anaheim prefers to cycle the puck down low between their three forwards and try to create plays around/behind the net.
A team successfully creates high-danger scoring chances with behind-the-net play when opposing teams start to lag behind and chase them around, which is exactly what Minnesota might start doing if those tired legs start to impact them. The Ducks revamped their offense over the offseason with the additions of Ryan Strome, Frank Vatrano, and John Klingberg.
These additions have started to show their impact recently, with Strome doing a strong job centering the Comtois-Strome-Terry line. Starting to find a rhythm alongside Anaheim’s best winger in Troy Terry, Strome has now recorded three goals and three assists over the last five games.
Meanwhile, Klingberg is starting to earn that $7 million contract with five assists over his last four games.
Wild vs. Ducks Pick
Gustavsson has struggled between the pipes for the last two seasons, and this game should be no different. Allowing three or more goals in seven of their 12 games this season, the Wild have not been the same shutdown defense as they were last year.
While that should start to positively regress down the road, on the second half of a road back-to-back against a team coming off two days of rest is not the situation where that occurs. Meanwhile, Anaheim’s offense is starting to gel, particularly the new guys who are still finding their footing in Dallas Eakins’ system.
Anaheim has scored at least three goals in five straight games, a trend that should continue on Wednesday night.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks Team Total Over 2.5 (-145) | Play up to (-160)