NHL Predictions: Sharks at Red Wings Odds and Betting Picks
by George Monroy - 10/21/2013
The San Jose Sharks are still undefeated in regulation nearly three weeks and eight games into the season. The team’s only blemish on its record was a 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars last Thursday. However, the Sharks’ first regulation defeat will probably come within the next few days as the team embarks on five-game road trip to close out the month of October. During that span, San Jose will not play a team with a below-.500 record and will face a difficult test in the Los Angeles Kings to close the road trip. If the Sharks plan on keeping their streak alive, they will need to be even more dominant over the next five games. The Sharks already have an impressive 9-2 blowout over the New York Rangers under their belt to go along with perhaps the most impressive win by any team in the NHL this season, a 6-2 drubbing of the St. Louis Blues.
The Detroit Red Wings have been just as good as any other team in the Eastern Conference to start the season. The Red Wings are currently leading the Atlantic Division and have won four of their last five games after starting the season a mediocre 2-2. The Red Wings seem to have adjusted well to the conference realignment and being moved from the Western to the Eastern Conference. Detroit already has a pair of impressive road victories over the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche to start the season. Let’s take an in-depth look at tonight’s Sharks versus Red Wings matchup and figure out the best side of the game to wager on.
Sharks at Red Wings Betting Story Lines
The Sharks lost a shootout to the Stars on Thursday and immediately went back to their winning ways by blowing out the Calgary Flames 6-3 on Saturday. Joe Pavelski took over the team’s point lead after a masterful performance against the Flames where the center scored two goals and assisted on two others. San Jose has been an offensive juggernaut through the first eight games and already has five players with double-figure points and one player—Joe Thornton—with double-figures in assists alone. The Red Wings have received production from all parts of their roster and have 14 players with at least one goal and 19 players with at least one point.
San Jose has been relatively un-phased after last week’s Maxim Lapierre incident, which left defensemen Dan Boyle injured and out of the lineup indefinitely. The Sharks have been relentless so far this season and are averaging a whopping 40 shot attempts per game while allowing only 24. The 16-shot differential is an astounding stat and probably the biggest reason why the team has not lost in regulation all year.
The Red Wings, on the other hand, average only 31 shot attempts per game while giving up nearly 33 to their opponents. The main reason the team has been able to continue winning while giving up so many shots is because of the excellent play from goalies Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson, who have a combined .933 save rate. The team has also received excellent production from centers Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who have 11 points a piece. The Red Wings currently rank 16th in offensive production with 2.7 goals per game, 12th in goals allowed with 2.6 per game and 10th in power play percentage.
Sharks at Red Wings NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
San Jose opened as a -120 road moneyline favorite at BetOnline, while Detroit receives even money as the slight underdog. The total opened up at 5.5, with the “under” being favored at -120. The Sharks are 7-1 during their last eight games and are 6-1 following a win over their last seven games. The team is also 6-1 during their last seven games against the Eastern Conference. Detroit is 4-1 during their last five games and 4-1 during their last five games playing on one day worth of rest. The under is 3-0-2 during the last five meetings between these two teams. San Jose has dominated the last few matchups and has a 6-2 record over the last eight games.
NHL Predictions: Sharks at Red Wings Betting Picks
At first glance, getting even money on a solid Detroit team at home seems like the smart wager to make. The Red Wings are leading their division, have won four of their last five and already have a couple of impressive wins on their record. However, the best wager to make here is to ride the streaking San Jose Sharks and do so at a decent price of only -120. There are two main factors in picking to Sharks to pull off a road win during tonight’s matchup.
First, the team takes a ridiculous 40 shot attempts a game and will be playing a Detroit squad that allows more attempts than they take themselves. On paper there is a 10-shot differential, and that amount should be enough for the Sharks to overwhelm the Red Wings. The second factor is that San Jose is about to start a five-game road trip and will play 10 away games during their next 13 matchups. What that means is that the San Jose coaching staff will have the team ready to play and rack up as many wins as possible, particularly early in the schedule before the road games begin to take their toll. As weird as this may sound, San Jose probably needs to win this game more than Detroit does. Take the Sharks on the moneyline.
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