Sharks vs. Jets NHL Picks to Depend on Goalie Assignments

David Lawrence

Monday, January 5, 2015 1:22 PM GMT

Can the San Jose Sharks get back on track after their 7-2 loss to St. Louis? They’re a road dog in Winnipeg on Monday night according to the NHL betting lines.

The San Jose Sharks Can Win Because…
The Jets are in a bit of a slide too. Winnipeg did stomp the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday but prior to that, they had lost two straight. This is a very up and down team that had gone just 5-6 in their previous 11 games. And they’re not a relatively strong home team. Even with the win over the Leafs, they’ve dropped three of their last four at home and are just 9-11 in front of the home audience this season.

The Jets are also a banged up team as they are playing without their top four defenseman and forward Evander Kane. The missing blue liners should help the Sharks offense get back on track here, which should guide them to a win.

 

The Winnipeg Jets Can Win Because…
The Sharks are struggling right now. They were blown off the map on Saturday when they lost 7-2 to St. Louis. That wasn’t an aberration, though, as that was the Sharks fourth loss in five games. They aren’t scoring many goals these days as they’ve scored nine goals in their last five, which boils down to a paltry 1.8 per outing.

It doesn’t figure to get any easier for them as Joe Thornton will be out of the lineup. He is tied for the team lead with 33 points and is one of the best facilitators. They will likely be going up against one of the league’s hottest goaltenders if the Jets give Michael Hutchinson the start. He’s 10-3-2 on the season and has wrested the starting job away from Ondrej Pavelec because of his strong performance. He’s the current league leader with a 1.81 GAA.

While the Sharks are struggling to score, the Jets have had no such issues. They’re averaging 3.54 goals per game in their last 13 contests. That’s why they’re the better choice for your NHL picks here.

 

Outlook
Betting this game has everything to do with the goaltenders. For the Sharks, Antti Niemi has just two wins in five starts against Winnipeg with a 3.13 GAA. If he’s in net, then betting the Jets makes sense assuming that Hutchinson is in net. If it’s Niemi and Pavelec, then we’ll look for an over as Pavelec has been unreliable of late, posting a 2.95 GAA and an .886 save percentage in December.

If it’s Alex Stalock in net for the Sharks, look for an under instead. He has shutouts in both of his career meetings with the Jets and if it’s him and Hutchinson, we should expect a low scoring game. If it’s Stalock and Pavelec, then it’s best to stay away.

There’s a bunch of permutations here but the goaltending should be the deciding factor here. Latest reports suggest that Niemi and Pavelec are the probables, so go over the NHL betting odds total.

Free NHL Pick: Over 5 at BetOnline