Free NHL Picks: Sharks at Oilers Odds
by George Monroy - 1/28/2014
The San Jose Sharks used a six-game winning streak to get back into the mix for the top seed in the Western Conference. Anaheim leads everyone with a whopping 83 points in the standings, but the second through fourth spots are separated by only two points. When the postseason comes around in a few months, the difference between home-ice advantage and playing on the road might be decided by a single win. And no matter how good the top teams in the conference have been playing, the simple fact is that they need to continue winning to stay afloat in the West.
At this point in the year, the Edmonton Oilers are only playing for pride and maybe a premium position in next season’s draft. Edmonton is sitting on 40 points in the standings and is inching closer to ‘worst team in the league’ status. The squad has already lost nine games during the month of January and is set to start a four-game road trip after Wednesday’s game against San Jose. Let’s take a closer look at the Sharks versus Oilers matchup with predictions and analysis.
Sharks at Oilers Betting Story Lines
San Jose ended a four-game homestand with a 3-1 record but had its six-game winning streak snapped by a 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. The Sharks played relatively well, holding Los Angeles to one goal on 21 shot attempts, but they were unable to put together any sort of offensive in a hard-hitting, defensive-minded matchup. The Kings had lost five straight games and were desperate to get a win against one of the elite Western Conference teams.
Starting goaltender Antti Niemi has been brutally efficient over his last five starts, allowing only 10 goals on 132 shot attempts in that span. However, some of that praise should go to San Jose’s defensive effort as well—the squad has allowed opponents to take an average of only 24 shot attempts per game. The Sharks have done an excellent job of keeping its goaltenders out of compromising positions and prefer to stay on the attack on offense.
Edmonton is surprisingly on a two-game winning streak—its first in over a month—and even managed to score nine goals during both games. The team, however, was outshot in both matchups but was able to hold its opponents to only three goals on 62 attempts, thanks to excellent goaltender by Ilya Bryzgalov and backup Ben Scrivens. Edmonton is set to start a four-game road trip that will run through the first seven days of February and lead into a five-game homestand.
The Oilers trail the final playoff spot in the West by 22 points and would need a miracle, or one of the longest winning streaks in NHL history, to catch up. However, the team can play well in small doses and can occasionally score nine goals in two games (Edmonton scored eight goals during its last two-game winning streak in December). The Oilers have won three straight games only once this season, way back in November, so they will need quite an effort if they plan on beating San Jose on Wednesday.
Sharks at Oilers NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
San Jose opened as a -163 road moneyline favorite over the +148 underdog Oilers at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “over” being favored at -121. San Jose is 4-1 over its last five games played on one day of rest and 5-0 against teams with a losing record. The squad is 6-1 during its last seven overall games and 5-1 over its last six after allowing two goals or less in the previous matchup. San Jose is also 4-1 in its last five road games.
Edmonton is 2-6 in its last eight overall games and 1-4 in its last five games on the road. The team has also lost 16 of its last 54 Wednesday games but has won its last two overall matchups. Edmonton has gone over in its last four games following a win. Head-to-head, San Jose is 4-0 over the last four meetings in Edmonton and 16-5 over the last 21 overall meetings. The road team is 5-2 during the last seven matchups between the teams.
Free NHL Picks: Sharks at Oilers Predictions
Edmonton may be on a two-game winning streak, but San Jose is still the better team in this matchup. The Oilers have one three-game winning streak for the entire season and may just be happy that it managed to win consecutive games. The Sharks, on the other hand, have been excellent on defense and are still in the mix for the top seed in the West. The team needs to keep winning and not let ‘easy’ matchups slip through its fingers. Take San Jose on the moneyline.
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