NHL Picks: Sharks Dominate The Tank, Bet San Jose -180 Over Avalanche

Bruce Webster

Monday, December 28, 2015 1:57 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 28, 2015 1:57 PM GMT

The Colorado Avalanche meet the San Jose Sharkson Monday at the SAP Center. Join us as we break down the NHL odds and give you our best NHL picks for the night.

Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks
The Line: San Jose Sharks -170/Colorado Avalanche +150.
Total: 5.5
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Free NHL Pick: San Jose Sharks
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

The NHL odds odds are out as the Colorado Avalanche (17-17-1 SU, 21-14 PL, 17-17-1 O/U) will be playing the second game of a back-to-back situation when they visit the San Jose Sharks (17-15-2 SU, 17-17 PL, 20-12-2 O/U) at the SAP Center on Monday night. Colorado won five in a row from Dec. 12 through Dec. 19 but was coming off a 7-4 loss to Toronto heading into Sunday’s home contest against Arizona. The Sharks have not played since Dec. 22, when they ended a two-game losing streak by winning at Los Angeles.

 

Line Shuffling
Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon was still in the midst of a nine-game stretch without a goal heading into Sunday. He and the rest of the first line were toiling through a three-game slump with no goals between them.

As such, head coach Patrick Roy is making a change. At least for the present and near future, MacKinnon is now playing alongside veterans Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla. That could mean fewer even-strength minutes for MacKinnon, although he is likely to remain a staple of power-play situations.

“We were together for two months, and we’ve played really well,” MacKinnon said of his former line. “It’s a long season, and we’re not even at the halfway point yet. There’s a lot of hockey left, and I’m sure those guys will be at my wings at some point. But right now, we all hope this works.”

 

What’s the Ward?
Sharks’ forward Joel Ward is reportedly ready to return to the lineup on Monday. Ward missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury after taking a high hit on Dec.18 against Ottawa. The 35-year-old has been in stellar form for San Jose this season with 10 goals and 13 assists. In his previous 13 outings before being sidelined from the last two, Ward contributed two goals and seven assists. He is expected to jump right back in the second line spearheaded by center Patrick Marleau (13 goals, 12 assists).

Even without Ward, the Sharks fared well offensively in their two most recent contests. They took a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago before getting past Los Angeles 5-3. Center Joe Pavelski lit the lamp twice–first to tie the score at 3-3 and then to take the lead–and also assisted on a Joe Thornton goal to lead San Jose past L.A. Thornton added two helpers, as well.

 

Trends for Colorado:
19-54 in their last 73 games playing on no days of rest
1-4 in their last five road games against teams with home winning percentages under .400
5-21-1 in their last 27 trips to San Jose

 

Trends for San Jose:
26-11 in their last 37 games playing on three or more days of rest
18-7 in their last 25 home games following a road trip of seven or more days
35-17 in the last 52 meetings between the two teams

 

Betting Analysis
The Sharks generally do well when they are rested, whereas the Avalanche are rarely effective playing without any rest. San Jose is also 35-17 in the last 52 installments of this head-to-head rivalry and 21-5-1 in its last 27 at home against Colorado. Ward’s presence should only boost an offense that is firing on almost all cylinders, so the trends should continue. For tonight's matchup, It will not help the visitors that they are dealing with new offensive lines. Take the home team for your NHL picks.

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