Free NHL Picks: Home Team Sharks -133 vs. Canucks

David Lawrence

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 1:00 PM GMT

Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks both sit on 43 points as they head into tonight's game. The Sharks are a -133 favorite on the NHL betting lines for this matchup.

The Vancouver Canucks Can Win Because…
They should have the edge in net. Although Antti Niemi has played well for the Sharks recently, he doesn’t fare particularly well against the Canucks. He’s just 8-6-2 against them over his last 16 starts while posting a subpar 2.67 GAA. On the flip side, the Canucks have Ryan Miller between the pipes and he’s 2-0-1 with a 1.64 GAA in his last three. He’s won six straight starts against the Sharks while posting a 1.64 GAA in the process and he’s even notched two shutouts in his last four appearances at the Shark Tank.

San Jose has played well at home this month but it’s not as if they’re beating the league’s best teams. Two of the wins have come against Edmonton, another against struggling Minnesota and Boston squads, and they also beat a Philadelphia team that doesn’t travel well. Vancouver should have a more than reasonable chance to win this game.

 

The San Jose Sharks Can Win Because…
Home-ice advantage will be significant in this matchup. The Sharks might look like a so-so team overall but they’ve been quite successful at home recently. They’ve won eight straight at the Shark Tank and they haven’t lost at home since November. On the flip side, while the Canucks look like a solid road team at 11-6-2, most of that was built up earlier in the year. More recently, they’ve dropped four straight road games.

The difference for both sides has been the offense. The Sharks are averaging a whopping 3.88 goals per game during their eight-game home-winning streak. It’s hard to lose when you’re scoring nearly four goals a game. At the same time, the Canucks just aren’t punching in the same class. They have just two goals in their last two road games, totaling just 30 shots.

Stick with what the NHL betting odds are pointing towards, which is a Sharks win.

 

Outlook
Although this is a matchup of two Western Conference playoff teams here, it looks like the Sharks have the clear edge. Even though the recent goaltending in this series somewhat points the arrow to Vancouver, it’s hard to trust the Canucks when you realize that the Sharks have won eight straight at home. On top of that, Miller has a 2.75 road GAA this season and is only 9-5-1 away from home compared to 9-2-0 and a 2.32 GAA at home. When you factor that in along with the Sharks home-ice advantage, it becomes evident that the Sharks are worth a look and taking them as your NHL pick is definetly a good call here. 

Free NHL Pick: Sharks -133 at Sports Betting