The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks have been heading in opposite directions recently. As the Ducks were hot into February and making a playoff push, the Sharks were sliding down the standings. But now the Ducks are struggling and the Sharks are playing well, which makes it fairly obvious which way to go for Monday’s affair.

Monday, March 19th

NHL odds makers have opened the lines with the Sharks listed as the -165 hockey betting favorite. Sportsbooks have also listed the total at a low 5 points, but given these two team's past, I think we are better off sticking to the puck line with our NHL picks tonight. 

The Anaheim Ducks can win because…

Who wants to lay juice with the San Jose Sharks? On the season, betting the Sharks has cost players 15.6 units and it’s been much worse recently. Although they’ve won three of four, that still only makes it five wins in their last 15 games. In that span, they’ve cost bettors -260, -180, -145 and -190 on separate occasions. Sure, they’ve won three of four but their track record will make you think twice about the juice. On top of that, they’ve barely got by in those three wins. 

The Sharks eked out one goal wins over the Oilers, Predators and a struggling Red Wings squad. They’re not exactly blowing anyone out of the water.

The Ducks have won three of the first four meetings this season and in each of those games, the Sharks had been playing noticeably better than Anaheim. These teams might be closer to even than most people think.

The San Jose Sharks can win because…

Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose SharksThe Ducks are struggling mightily and the Sharks have regained their footing. As mentioned, the Sharks have won three of four and appear to be back in business. They’re just one point out of a playoff spot but have three games in hand over the team they’re chasing (the Colorado Avalanche). 

Meanwhile, the Ducks have become a gong show. They’ve now lost eight of 11 and the team has come unglued. Goaltender Jonas Hiller has been worked into the ground as Monday will be his 32nd straight start – if he’s in net once again – and his performance has dipped in March. He’s given up 20 goals in nine starts, which isn’t bad, but it’s a noticeable cut below his 1.55 GAA in January. 

As for the team’s offense, it’s been non-existent. The Ducks have managed 20 goals in their last 11 games with 11 of them coming in the three wins. The Ducks have been held to one goal or less in five of those 11 contests. 

With the Ducks struggling and the Sharks playing well, this is a good spot to bet on those trends continuing. 

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction: 

It’s really tough to back Anaheim these days. Not only have all touts and handicappers hopped on the “fade Anaheim” bandwagon, the team having no rest will only compound their problems.

The Ducks played and lost last night at home against Nashville and not only will Monday’s contest be a back-to-back situation, it’s also their third game in four nights. Add San Jose to your sports picks this evening. 

NHL Picks: Sharks