NHL Picks: Expect Sharks To Roll Coyotes In Pacific Division Battle

Bruce Webster

Thursday, January 21, 2016 2:09 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 2:09 PM GMT

The San Jose Sharks face the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday at the Gila River Arena. Join us as we preview this Pacific Division matchup and provide our best NHL picks.

San Jose Sharks vs. Arizona Coyotes
Line: SJ -125 / ARZ +105
Total: 5.5
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Free NHL Pick: San Jose -130
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

 

The NHL odds are out for this game as the San Jose Sharks (23-18-2; 24-20 ATS; 14-19 O/U) will travel to the Gila River Arena on Thursday evening for a Pacific Division battle versus the Arizona Coyotes (22-18-4; 27-18 ATS; 22-20 O/U). Tempers flared on Monday night after the Coyotes lost at home to the Buffalo Sabres by the score of 4-2. The two teams got into a scrum after the third period horn sounded after the Coyotes made a late push in an attempt to tie the game up. After it was all said-and-done, 61 penalty minutes were handed out for bookkeeping purposes. The loss marked the Coyotes’ third consecutive defeat, leaving Arizona in a three-way tie for second-place in the Pacific Division standings with 49 points.

 

Sharks Snap Five-Game Win Streak
The San Jose Sharks had their five-game winning streak snapped on Monday night, falling in 4-3 via shootout versus the Ottawa Senators. Things looked good for the Sharks, who were up a goal on the power play late in the third period, but Zack Smith sent the game to overtime with a short-handed goal. Over the past six games (5-0-1), the Sharks have found the back of the net 27 times, improving to 5th in the NHL in goals per game (2.8) during that span.

 

Domingue Making Most of Opportunity
When Arizona Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith was forced to undergo stomach surgery, many experts it spelled the end of the Coyotes’ playoff chances. Instead of tumbling down the Western Conference standings, Arizona has thrived in large part due to the play of rookie Louis Domingue, who has made the most of his opportunity. Domingue comes in with a 7-3-3 overall record and is coming off of his first regulation loss in his last 11 starts in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Sabres. The 23-year-old owns a .928 save percentage and a 2.19 GAA on the season, making it entirely possible that he stays between the pipes when Smith is able to return to the ice.

 

Trends for San Jose:
4-0 in their last 4 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game
4-0 in their last 4 vs. Western Conference
5-1 in their last 6 overall

 

Trends for Arizona:
15-37 in their last 52 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game
12-40 in their last 52 vs. a team with a winning record
1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600

 

Betting Analysis
The Coyotes have had a difficult time scoring as of late, totaling three goals over their last three games (0-2-1), while coming up empty on 10 straight power play opportunities over their last two games. Despite losing their last game, the Sharks have been on a roll as of late, especially offensively. I’m leaning towards the hotter team right now for my NHL picks. Take the Sharks on the road in this Pacific Division battle on Thursday night.

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