San Jose Sharks vs. Vegas Golden Knights Odds, Pick, Prediction: Road Team Has Value as Big Underdog
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Timo Meier
Sharks vs. Knights Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-235|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
Nearly three years later, games between these two teams can still get feisty. Tempers flared near the end of the Golden Knights’ 4-1 win in the Shark Tank a couple of weeks ago, which saw a total of 32 minutes in penalties handed out across both sides with nine seconds left to play in regulation.
Moments like that set the stage for rematches. That’s what we’ll get in Vegas on Tuesday night.
Here’s the latest on both sides, and my favorite bet for the game.
Sharks Toiling in Mediocrity
The Sharks have won two of their last three games, but that could be too little too late as far as a shot as the playoffs is concerned. A much-needed push out of the All-Star Break didn’t materialize. San Jose is 2-3-3 the month of February and will head into Tuesday’s game sitting seven points out of the second wild-card spot in the West.
San Jose has had outstanding special teams in the month of February — scoring on 25% of its power-play chances while killing 96.2% of its penalties. But the Sharks averaged just 2.13 goals scored per game last month, while giving up 3.13. Considering those numbers include their special-teams play, it’s no surprise that their expected goals rate at 5-on-5 in February was a league-worst 39.16%.
Surprisingly, the Sharks have gotten some consistent performances out of goaltender James Reimer. He’s sitting at 3.9 goals saved above expected, and has allowed three goals or less in eight of his last nine starts.
With Erik Karlsson already on the injured list, San Jose lost another key defenseman on Saturday, when Mario Ferraro suffered a fractured fibula against the Boston Bruins. Utility forward Andrew Cogliano missed the Sharks’ weekend games for personal reasons, and Jonathan Dahlen was absent due to illness.
Golden Knights in Free Fall
Expected to dominate the Pacific Division this season, the Vegas Golden Knights suddenly find themselves fighting for their playoff lives.
They’ve fallen to third place in the division thanks for a 1-5-1 record over their last seven games — with the only win coming in that Feb. 20 matchup against the Sharks.
Not exactly the situation Jack Eichel thought he’d be walking into.
He’s been fine, with four points in his first five games. His only goal so far came against the Sharks.
But injuries have continued to be an issue for the Golden Knights, who are currently without star forwards Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone as well as Mattias Janmark and Nolan Patrick. On the back end, Alec Martinez remains a key absence. In net, Robin Lehner is set to return against the Sharks on Tuesday after missing five games with an upper-body injury.
The Golden Knights’ goal differential during February isn’t as bad as the Sharks, but it isn’t great. They’re just 27th offensively, averaging 2.38 goals per game, while allowing 2.63. And their special teams are grim — only 10.5% on the power play and 85.7% on the penalty kill.
Sharks vs. Golden Knights Pick
The Sharks are the only team that the Golden Knights have beaten in the last three weeks, but that shouldn’t make Vegas an automatic on your betslip on Tuesday.
The home team certainly needs the two points in a tight Western Conference playoff race. But even if Lehner returns and plays well, he won’t be able to juice up the undermanned offense.
The good old days where Vegas was a virtually guaranteed to win on home ice are gone now, too. The Golden Knights are 14-12-3 at T-Mobile Arena this season, which actually pales in comparison to their 15-8-1 road record.
San Jose has its own issues, but it has been keeping the train on the tracks over the last week. That’s more than can be said for Vegas. At a moneyline of +185 at PointsBet on Monday evening, that suggests that the Sharks have just a 35% chance of winning, which I think is too low.
Pick: Sharks moneyline (+185); bet to +150