NHL Odds & Pick for Wild vs. Sharks: Back San Jose to Finally End Losing Streak (Saturday, April 24)
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: The Wild’s Ryan Suter (from left), Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello celebrate Kaprizov’s goal on Friday.
- Minnesota has won seven in a row and is up to third in the West Division.
- San Jose has done quite the opposite, losing seven straight and dropping to sixth in the division.
- See why Nicholas Martin is backing the Sharks to finally come out with a win tonight.
Wild vs. Sharks Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-130 / +106)|
|Time | TV||Saturday, 9 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday morning and via FanDuel.|
The Minnesota Wild go to San Jose searching for their seventh straight win after holding off a late surge from the Kings Friday night for a 4-2 victory. San Jose enter this one after back-to-back losses in Vegas, extending its losing streak to seven straight.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks have faltered at the exact wrong time, losing seven straight games to essentially end any chance they had at claiming the final playoff spot in the West division. San Jose is chasing Arizona and St. Louis, each of which has just three wins out of its last 10 games, so the door was left wide open, but the Sharks have done anything but take the opportunity.
But certainly there is a great deal of pride in any NHL locker room, and I do think the Sharks fought hard and showed a lot of positives in two losing efforts at Vegas this week. As the underlying metrics say, they likely haven’t been bad enough to deserve to drop seven straight, but I do feel they have clearly illustrated not to be playoff material of late.
There are still some good pieces on this roster, and when they are playing a well structured team game they should be able to put together better results than they have of late to be certain.
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.
Minnesota squeaked out another game in which it was outshot on Friday, continuing a streak of games in which the Wild have not outshot their opponent dating back to March 16. While that statistic isn’t as meaningful as some would argue — given the importance of quality over quantity regarding shot creation and suppression — it is still an interesting statistic and undoubtedly not ideal, particularly when the tally is as extreme as the 42-24 number we saw Friday night vs a mediocre Kings team.
It’s certainly easier to take a few games in which your team did not carry a great deal of the play when you have game-breaking talent like Kirill Kaprizov, who scored two Friday night, including an absolute beauty to get the scoring started. The Wild would bend yet again but not break as Joel Eriksson Ek would cap it with a 4-2 empty netter in the final minute.
The Wild will almost certainly finish third in the West, unless Colorado or Vegas put together a very surprising stretch of losing results down the stretch. Mainly, Minnesota is simply looking to stay healthy and keep its game sharp as a first round matchup with a cup favorite in either Colorado or Las Vegas draws closer.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Minnesota will be in the worst scheduling spot by winning percentage this year, as the Wild played Friday night in Los Angeles before coming to San Jose for a rested San Jose team looking to snap a seven-game losing streak. Undoubtedly a tough situation for a Minnesota group which may be likely for a let-down game given the underlying numbers over its last stretch of games.
Based off of the extreme gap in current results in terms of wins between these two teams, I think we are seeing San Jose with better value than what oddsmakers might say is the true line on this one.
Given the price and a very tough scheduling spot for Minnesota, I see a lot of value in backing San Jose to finally end its losing streak.
Pick: San Jose (+128)