The San Jose Sharks come back from the All-Star Break on Thursday when they host the Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks have been up and down over the last month and will have their hands full with the Ducks, who come in on a hot streak. However, this could be a closer matchup than most expect. The Sharks opened as a small home favorite on the NHL betting lines.
The Anaheim Ducks Can Win Because…
The Sharks have been sloppy of late. San Jose is coming off a win but they have just two wins in their last seven home games. The Shark Tank used to be a tough place to play but not anymore. Overall, the Sharks have just six wins in their last 14 games and have given up 3.21 goals per game in the process. That’s among the worst in the NHL. One of the big issues is goaltender Antti Niemi, who has gone 5-4-2 in his last 11 games while posting a lofty GAA of 2.92.
The Ducks are on a roll right now as they’ve won six straight games. They’ve allowed just 10 goals in that span while their offense is cooking, scoring four goals or more in seven of their last nine contests. They’re clicking at both ends of the ice while the Sharks are a middling team right now. That’s why the Ducks are worth a look with your NHL picks.
The San Jose Sharks Can Win Because…
They dominate this series. While the two teams come in to this game with different momentum, that might not matter. On the year, they’ve won three of the four matchups between the teams and won six traight times as the host in this series. While Niemi is struggling right now, he does play well against the Ducks. He has been in net in each of the last six home wins versus the Ducks while posting a 1.95 GAA.
As for Ducks netminder Frederik Andersen, he has struggled against the Sharks, dropping five of his last six outings against them while posting a 3.51 GAA. Clearly, they have his number as they have been a thorn in his side.
This is a matchup that’s gone in San Jose’s favor, so stick with the trends in this spot.
This line looks a bit strange if you don’t know the series history as the Ducks are 14 points better in the standings and come into this game with far more momentum. They have won six straight and are firing on all cylinders while the Sharks haven’t done much of late. And beyond that, the Sharks home-ice advantage hasn’t been much of one in the last few weeks.
Even so, San Jose owns the Ducks, winning six times as the host in this series. So we’ll stick with them. You can find them at NHL odds as cheap as -108 on the betting lines and that’s a cheap price to pay considering how well they’ve played in this series – especially at home.
Free NHL Pick: Sharks +110 at Bet William Hill