Free NHL Picks on the Total: Sharks vs. Ducks

David Lawrence

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 1:15 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 1:15 PM GMT

The San Jose Sharks continue their hot and cold ways, and after a loss last night at home to the Vancouver Canucks, they have to head back on the road to face the NHL’s best team. 

The San Jose Sharks Can Win Because…
Anaheim has been shaky too. The Ducks are laying plenty of juice in this one but do you really want to lay any type of a number with a team that’s dropped three of their last six games? The Ducks do have wins over the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens in that span, but they also lost 6-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-2 to the Ottawa Senators and 2-1 to the Arizona Coyotes. That’s pretty discouraging if you’ve been a Ducks’ backer in that time. They’ve likely cost you some coin – especially with the loss in Arizona, so think about it when you're looking over the NHL odds.

The Sharks are a streaky team but they tend to play Anaheim fairly tough. They took the Ducks into overtime last Monday before falling 3-2. Prior to that, they had already defeated the Ducks twice this season with a 4-1 win on the Duck Pond and a 6-4 win at home.

There’s a good chance the Ducks put Frederik Andersen in net for this one but he’s struggled in his career versus San Jose. He’s just 1-4-0 with a 3.85 GAA and .878 save percentage against them. The Sharks will have a good shot to win here.

 

The Anaheim Ducks Can Win Because…
San Jose is slumping again and this is a team that tends to stick with trends. When they’re hot, they string together wins. When they’re cold, they string together losses. The Sharks had won five straight prior to this three-game losing streak. Maybe even more importantly is the third loss in that streak came on Tuesday night, which means the Sharks will be in a back-to-back situation.

San Jose’s offense has disappeared as they have scored just four goals in their last three games. The same goes for their last three road games – all of which they’ve lost. They’ve actually lost seven of 10 on the road with failure at Edmonton, Buffalo, Arizona and Columbus. If they’re going to be losing on the road to teams like that, there’s only a very slim chance they win on the road on Wednesday.

 

Outlook
This is a tough spot for the Sharks here as they are laboring and now on short rest. The Ducks have won five of the last seven home meetings between the teams and should extend their dominance.

However, I’m going to go over the number here. The Ducks may get Corey Perry back on Wednesday and he should give their offense a boost. Meanwhile, the Sharks don’t seem to have many issues scoring on Andersen, so we should see at least five goals. Take the over for your NHL pick this time.

NHL Pick: Over 5 at 5Dimes

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