Take Sharks & Senators With Your NHL Picks To Put Up Goals In High Scoring Affair

Mark Lathrop

Monday, January 18, 2016 6:37 PM GMT

With San Jose drawing steep juice at home against the Senators, is there an NHL pick on the total that should interest bettors tonight? Our NHL handicapper has the lean on the total in this game.

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Free NHL Pick: Over 5½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

In a NHL Monday night tilt on the West Coast, we have the San Jose Sharks (23-18-2) hosting the Ottawa Senators (21-18-6). Each of these teams are coming off of Saturday wins and have one day of rest, but it is the the San Jose Sharks that have been placed as the early favorite. The Sharks are favored at home -160 at Pinnacle at time of writing. The O/U total has been set at 5.5 across the board, with the under getting a little shade at -125 at 5Dimes.

Although this line has not been out very long as I write this, very early bettors are moving this line towards the Senators. Within an hour, the initial movement of the line moved from +149 to +145 at Bookmaker, as the early money came on Ottawa.

 

Ottawa Senators
Ottawa is coming off of a great win on the road in Los Angeles, where they scored 4 goals in the last twelve minutes in the 3rd period to come back and win 5-3. This was also a surprising result as the Senators were going against All-Star goalie, Jonathan Quick. Probably surprising to bettors as well, as the Senators were +175 underdogs on the money line in the game. Ottawa got outshot 23-33 in that game, which continued a trend in being outshot in their last three. Being outshot is a regular occurrence for the Senators, since they are last in the league in shots allowed at 33.5 per game.

Craig Anderson is slated to start between the pipes again for the Senators in this game, after winning in Los Angeles saving 30 of 33 shots. The thirteen year-veteran is allowing 2.79 goals per game this year, is much better than the last year he finished before injury in 2013. Anderson has quite a history with the Sharks over his career, but his numbers aren’t so good on paper. The Senator goalie is jut 4-7 SU facing the Sharks, and has given up 3.22 goals per game in those contests.

 

San Jose Sharks
Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks have won five games in a row, averaging 1.8 goals allowed in that span. Their last two wins have been of the close variety, winning in a shootout last Thursday with Edmonton in town, and then beating the Dallas Stars on Saturday 3-4 in overtime. The loss was damaging to Dallas, as they have slipped to 2nd place in the Central Division behind the Chicago Blackhawks, who have now won 11 games in a row.

San Jose was able to outshoot the Stars in Saturday’s matchup 39-35, with goalie Martin Jones saving 32 shots for the Sharks. With the day off on Sunday, Jones is expected to start again for the Sharks on Monday night versus Ottawa. Jones has only faced Ottawa once in his career, and won that matchup giving up 2 goals on 39 shots. Interestingly enough, Jones is 7-10-0 at home this year SU, but 9-1 SU after one day’s rest. His season numbers are 20-13-2 with 2.44 goal allowed average and a .914% save percentage.

 

Betting Analysis
When these teams met in December in Ottawa, the Senators won convincingly 4-2 as -127 money line favorites as the six goals made the game go over the listed total. That game marked the fourth game in a row that went over the total, and that is where my lean tonight goes as well. San Jose has scored 4 or more goals in four of their last five games and I expect that binge to continue. Now, as for my NHL pick, while the money line is a little rich on the home favorite, Over 5.5 goals presents excellent value at +111 at Pinnacle, which will be my Monday Night NHL Pick