Friday NHL Betting Odds & Pick for San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings: Value With San Jose if Martin Jones Starts (April 2)
Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Martin Jones of San Jose.
- The Kings and Sharks both sit tied in the West Division, on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.
- San Jose's next seven games are against Los Angeles and the last-place Anaheim Ducks.
- Nicholas Martin likes the Sharks to start putting some wins together and make a push for the playoffs, which he details below.
Sharks vs. Kings Odds
|Time||Friday, 10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings|
The Kings and Sharks begin a critical back-to-back on Friday, tied with 34 points each in the West Division. They sit four points behind St. Louis, surprisingly close to the faltering Blues for the final playoff spot in the division.
The Blues do face a treacherous schedule, however, playing 18 of their remaining 21 games against Colorado, Vegas and Minnesota. The battle for the final spot in the West will be interesting with the Blues, Coyotes, Kings and Sharks all in the mix.
Los Angeles has outperformed the expectations of many this year, holding a 14-14-6 record and sitting with a legitimate chance at the playoffs. They come in having beaten Vegas 4-2 last time out, with an impressive xGF game score of 4.64. Cal Petersen continued to be dominant in the Kings’ net, with a .925 save percentage and 5.6 goals saved above expected on the year.
Over the last 10 games, however, the Kings have skated to just a 47.73 xGF% on route to losing six of 10. It will be interesting to see if this group that is certainly in a transition period, can continue to stay in the mix.
San Jose Sharks
San Jose can realistically believe they are alive in the playoff hunt as well, although it will likely take a very strong record down the stretch for either to gain enough points to surpass St. Louis and Arizona. The Sharks have put together a 7-5-1 stretch, with a 51.78 xG% share over that time frame. The Sharks come in off of two impressive wins over a quality hockey club in the Wild, particularly Wednesday’s 4-2 win. The Sharks controlled play, with an expected goals total of 3.48 to the Wild’s 1.33.
Evander Kane’s perseverance continues to be a positive story for the Sharks, fighting through an off-ice bankruptcy claim to lead the team in both goals (15) and points (31).
Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.
Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.
xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This should be a very competitive and hard fought game, between two teams with some real dislike for each other fighting to stay in the playoff mix.
Martin Jones owns a .933 save percentage over his last seven for the Sharks, who have routinely underperformed in recent history due to poor goaltending. San Jose begins a run of seven-straight games vs. Anaheim and Los Angeles that will go a long way in keeping any playoff hopes alive. I think that this is a hungry Sharks core, sick of underperforming, and for the time being I’m willing to back them if Jones starts at plus money over a respectable Kings team.
Pick: Sharks Moneyline (+108) |