Another thrilling night in the National Hockey League is upon us, so here’s the best betting pick for the West Division showdown between the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche along with the key betting tips and trends.
For the second time in three days, the Sharks and Avs will face off against each other at Ball Arena in Denver. Colorado thrashed off San Jose 7-3 as -210 home favorites this past Tuesday, and the Avs will search for their fourth straight victory over the Sharks on Thursday night.
San Jose continues to struggle defensively
The San Jose Sharks (3-4-0) have been on the road since the opening day of the season which could be a slight excuse for their terrible defensive displays. The Sharks allowed three or more goals in each but one of their first seven outings and are 22nd in the league in goals allowed per game (3.10).
Martin Jones has patrolled the crease five times so far, posting a 3-2-0 record with a 3.91 GAA and a .871 save percentage, while Devan Dubnyk has a 0-2-0 record with a 3.29 GAA and a .894 save percentage. Jones had 14 saves on 19 shots last Tuesday and was pulled off early in the second period, so we can expect to see Dubnyk between the pipes on Thursday.
Centers Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture lead the way for San Jose, scoring three goals each and combining for 13 points, but Hertl has a terrible minus-6 rating. Ryan Donato is another center with three goals on his tally, while winger Evander Kane posted two goals, three assists, and a whopping 18 penalty minutes.
Colorado bounced back from a tough loss at Anaheim
The Colorado Avalanche (4-3-0) entered the 2021 NHL season as top favorites to win the Stanley Cup, but they’ve been pretty inconsistent thus far. Two of their three losses can be labeled as huge upsets, as the Avs suffered a 4-2 defeat at Los Angeles and a 3-1 defeat at Anaheim.
Colorado is seventh in the league in goals scored per game (3.57), and winger Mikko Rantanen tops the scoring chart with six goals in seven appearances. Center Nathan MacKinnon tallied a couple of goals along with seven assists, while defenseman Cale Makar is still goalless but has eight dishes.
The Avs surrender 2.57 goals per game (9th in the NHL). Philipp Grubauer started six of the first seven contests, posting a 4-2-0 record with a 2.17 GAA and a .919 save percentage, while Hunter Miska guarded the cage in that 4-2 loss in LA, recording 23 stops on 26 shots.
- 3-8 in the last 11 games overall
- 3-9 in the last 12 tilts on the road
- 4-1 in the last five games against San Jose
- 4-2 in the last six games overall
The Avs opened as massive -240 moneyline favorites on BetRivers Sportsbook, so I’m taking the risk with the puckline. The Sharks can make some damage, for sure, but their defense is a big issue. The Avs are one of the best offensive teams in the league and should know how to take full advantage of San Jose’s flaws.
Colorado netted seven goals on 42 shots last Tuesday. I’m looking for more of the same Thursday night.
Pick: Take Colorado Avalanche -1.5 at +100
I’ve mentioned San Jose’s defensive woes, while the Sharks take the fifth-most shots per game (34.2). They score only 2.30 goals a night (28th in the NHL), but the over is 5-2 in their seven showings this season. On the other side, four of the Avs’ first seven games went in the under.
Anyway, after ten goals in total on Tuesday, I can only take the over here. The Sharks and Avs combined for 72 shots and 30 penalty minutes while converting just one of their ten power-play opportunities. San Jose is only 6-for-51 with the man advantage, and the Sharks will have to improve eventually. The Avs converted 11 of their 34 power-play opportunities.
Pick: Go over 6.0 goals at -107