Avalanche vs. Sharks Game 7 Betting Odds, Preview: Do You Dare Trust Martin Jones?
Isaiah J. Downing, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Timo Meier, Gabriel Landeskog
- The San Jose Sharks are -137 favorites over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7.
- Michael Leboff breaks down the odds and analyzes key matchups for Wednesday night's lone NHL game.
San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche Game 7 Betting Odds
- Avalanche odds: +124
- Sharks odds: -137
- Over/Under: 5.5
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: NBCSN
>> All odds as of 11 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
The last time the San Jose Sharks were in a Game 7 all hell broke loose.
After falling behind the Golden Knights, 3-0, in the third period of Game 7 in Round 1, the Sharks netted four goals on a controversial 5-minute power play to take a 4-3 lead. Then the Knights scored with under a minute left to send the game to overtime. Unlikely hero Barclay Goodrow would send San Jose to Round 2 with the game-winning goal, capping a ridiculous game.
You can expect a large helping of “the Sharks have battled adversity already this postseason” from the media heading into Wednesday night’s do-or-die, but do yourself a favor and ignore that.
PDO is a hockey metric that uses a team’s shooting percentage and save percentage at 5-on-5 to help determine if the Hockey Gods are smiling on a team or if they are smiting a team. Sure, teams with more talent will likely have higher shooting and save percentages, but a 100 PDO is largely accepted as the norm.
Astoundingly, both the Avs and the Sharks come into Game 7 with a series-PDO of 100.
That tells you that, for the most part, neither team should feel “just lucky to be here.”
The Avs Are Hanging Tough at 5-on-5
The most eye-popping part of Colorado’s surprising playoff run has been how it has managed to contend at 5-on-5 with two of the league’s best even-strength teams. After demolishing the Flames, the Avs have posted better expected goals (51.2%) and high-danger scoring chance rates (54.4%) against the Sharks at 5-on-5.
Simply put, San Jose has had the puck more, but the Avalanche have generated the better scoring opportunities.
Can Marc-Edouard Vlasic Stop Nathan MacKinnon?
I rarely go into skater-vs.-skater matchups when breaking down a game, but tonight’s tilt features a mono e mono so compelling that it deserves some column inches.
The key component of Colorado’s offense is Nathan MacKinnon. The 2013 No. 1 overall pick has been fantastic this postseason, leading all skaters in scoring chances off the rush, and if he isn’t going the Avs are basically screwed.
MacKinnon’s size and skating ability make him an absolute bear to deal with, but San Jose has the perfect antidote to MacKinnon’s elixir.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic may get lost in the Shark Tank shuffle thanks to the presence of Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns, but the man they call “Pickles” is the one of the league’s best shutdown defensemen.
With the Sharks having the last change, MacKinnon will be matched up with MacKinnon all night long and he did a fantastic job blanketing the 23-year-old center in Game 5.
The Goaltending Battle: Martin Jones Will Drive Us All Crazy
Trying to project goaltending on a game-to-game basis is nearly impossible. There are plenty of descriptive stats that can tell you how a goalie has played, but very few reliable metrics that can give us a concrete idea of how a goalie will play.
No goalie encompasses that notion more than San Jose’s enigmatic netminder, Martin Jones.
Jones was one of the worst starting goaltenders in the entire NHL during the regular season and then backed up that sentiment with a poor start to the postseason. After the Sharks toyed with the idea of sitting Jones for doing his job poorly, they gave him another shot and the 29-year-old repaid his debt by standing on his head in a pair of victories to send the series to seven games.
In Round 2, Jones has been largely mediocre but that’s totally fine because so has his counterpart, Philipp Grubauer.
After a terrific first-round performance against the Flames, Grubauer has posted a .914 even-strength save percentage against the Sharks, failing to capitalize on the fact that he’s going up against Martin Jones.
Despite an underwhelming series from Grubauer, Colorado should have the edge in goal for Game 7. But betting on a team just because they have the better goalie is a bad idea.
Trust me, I have the betting scars to prove it.
Game 7 Betting Analysis
According to the Action Network’s consensus odds, the Sharks are a -137 favorite for Game 7 with Colorado coming back at +124. Here’s where these two teams landed for the first three games in San Jose:
Game 1: San Jose -130/Colorado +118
Game 2: San Jose -149/Colorado +135
Game 5: San Jose -135/Colorado +122
It has to be noted that the Sharks may have Joe Pavelski back in the lineup for the first time this series. Pavelski is arguably San Jose’s best forward, though it’s hard to expect him at 100%. Even so, Pavelski’s presence in the lineup puts the rest of the Sharks in their right spot and makes the team much deeper.
When you turn the Game 7 odds into implied probability, the market suggests San Jose has ~56.4% chance of winning this game. I think that’s a pretty sharp number, though it is a little shy of where I’d put the Sharks. If this number stays put, I may put a little money on San Jose for entertainment purposes.