NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wild vs. Sharks (November 16)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Timo Meier
Wild vs. Sharks Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds and Futures Odds here.|
Life won’t get much easier for the struggling San Jose Sharks, who will head in to Minnesota to take on the Central division-leading Minnesota Wild on a road trip that already featured contests in Calgary, Winnipeg and Colorado.
Minnesota will return home having bested the Kraken 4-2 in Seattle, continuing a recent offensive surge which has seen the club average 4.33 goals for per game over a 5-1 stretch.
The Wild have followed up an excellent season last year by getting off to a 10-4-0 start, and have played a very exciting brand of hockey with the league’s 8th best offensive output.
Altogether the Wild own a 55.93 xGF%, and have seen offensive contributions from up and down the lineup in the early going of this season.
The team holds three key defenders very capable of driving play up the ice and activating in the offensive zone, as Jared Spurgeon, Matt Dumba, and Jonas Brodin all seem to thrive playing an up-tempo style under coach Dean Evason, and have posted strong offensive outputs as well as quality play-driving numbers so far this season, and go as a big reason for the team’s offensive success.
The biggest concern going forward for the group is likely the goaltending situation. Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen don’t exactly form a weak duo, but compared the what most top teams are offering, certainly do compose an area of weakness for the Wild.
Cam Talbot will likely start Tuesday, and has posted a .908 save % and -2.3 goals saved above expected (GSAx) marks across 11 contests so far this season.
San Jose Sharks
After a surprisingly strong 4-0 start to the season, the Sharks continue to regress, going 1-3-1 over their last five with an xGF% of just 43.6, while allowing 3.8 goals per game.
Sharks goaltenders have greatly underachieved for a number of seasons now, and there is some causation beyond just bad net minding. Sloppy defensive play that was apparent in previous years with this core has really shown through of late, although San Jose have faced some stiff offensive competition.
Erik Karlsson has bounced back, and it has been fun to see him skating closer to his former self following some tough years injury-wise. However, Brent Burns continues to be a liability at 5-on-5 and has allowed a ton of high danger chances, even while partnered with a solid defensive partner in Mario Ferraro.
In 256.4 minutes together this season the duo own a 44.9 xGF% as the Sharks’ top unit, and will face quite a challenge against a Wild team offering a lot of offensive depth.
It is unclear who will draw the start Tuesday between Adin Hill and James Reimer for coach Bob Boughner. Reimer has posted better results against softer competition, stopping 94% of shots faced and 6.2 GSAx, while Hill owns an .894 save % and -2.2 GSAx.
Wild vs. Sharks Pick
The numbers say the Wild are due for some offensive regression, which is not surprising when you consider the insane output the team has managed of late. But I am not going to bank on that happening against a San Jose team that will finish in the league’s bottom third for goals against per game this season, and have routinely put together shaky defensive results with this core.
The Sharks are unlikely to hold opposition to lower totals too often again this season, still led by Burns and Karlsson on the back end, as both defenders’ biggest assets revolve around their ability to create offense, and not in their ability to suppress chances against.
As such, I think the high-event hockey San Jose has settled into of late is likely to continue, and the Sharks may even be due for better offensive results, as the team has gone -3.42 goals below expected over the last three contests.
Minnesota has seen some poor goaltending altogether and has allowed a high goals against average of 3.07 so far this season. This game may offer a chance for San Jose to post a better goal total than we have seen of late, and I could see them surprising Minnesota here and possibly putting up a few early goals on some softer Wild goaltending.
Altogether I think there’s a good chance this game can break open enough to give us the over at 5.5, and I see value at a price of -120, and would play it to -130.
Pick: Over 5.5 -120 (Play to -130)
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