The San Jose Sharks are coming off a pair of wins over Arizona, a highlight in an otherwise terrible stretch of games that saw the team go winless in eight straight and lose nine of 10 games. They now have to face the Colorado Avalanche in four consecutive games, a team that they have only beaten just once in four tries this season.
Let’s take a look at this matchup, the fifth of eight between San Jose and Colorado, from a betting perspective in our Sharks vs. Avalanche betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
The Avalanche were on cruise control for much of March and April, but suddenly hit a pretty sizable speed bump. They have lost three straight games for the first time all season and find themselves six points behind first-place Vegas. If the Avalanche are to make the run necessary to catch the Golden Knights for the West Division crown, they’ll have to cure their ills quickly – and frequently – against the Sharks.
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Sharks vs. Avalanche Betting Pick
The Sharks are technically still alive in the playoff race for the No. 4 seed out West, but need a lot of help. Instead, their focus down the stretch is on playing for jobs for for the 2021-22 season.
The Sharks goal differential this season is minus-34, eighth-worst in the NHL. The Sharks have scored 36 goals in 14 April games, but 10 of those goals came in their last two wins against Arizona, meaning that before those they were averaging less than two goals per game.
Meanwhile, they’ve given up 49 goals this month, an average of 3.50 goals per game.
The Avalanche, on the other hand, despite their recent struggles against St. Louis and Vegas, still have the highest scoring offense in the NHL and have been scuffling in allowing goals only while starting goalie Philipp Grubauer has been recovering from a bout with COVID-19.
Grubauer is expected to make his first start tonight after missing five straight games. The Avalanche had also been without forward Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi in recent games, also because of COVID. They, too, should be back to help bolster an already potent offense.
Sharks vs. Avalanche Odds
Here are the lines for Sharks vs. Avalanche at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Sharks (+1.5 +104), Avalanche (-1.5 -124)
Moneyline: Sharks (+255); Avalanche (-305)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-121)/Under 6 (+100)
Bets We Like With an Avalanche Win
Nathan MacKinnon OVER 0.5 goals (+116, Fan Duel) or MacKinnon 2+ points (+130, DraftKings)
We told you we aren’t going to stop betting MacKinnon until he stops scoring. His point streak is now at 15 games. He has at least one point in 22-of-23 games. He has multiple points in more than half of those games. He’ll have his running mate Rantanen back with him tonight, too, so, expect a big game from MacKinnon.
In this case, just scoring a goal has value. Two points has value. Heck, it’s -375 at DraftKings for him to grab one point, and we’re telling you, it’s worth it. It might even be worth a flier to take the +550 at DraftKings for him to get three or more points in this one. That’s how much we like MacKinnon tonight now that he’s back at home with his favorite linemate.
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Bets We Like With a Sharks Win
Evander Kane OVER 0.5 points (-112, FanDuel)
We don’t think there’s a chance in Hades that the Sharks win this game. But Evander Kane is a streaky player and he’s in the middle of one of his streaks now. Kane has three goals and three assists over his last three games. He had just three points total in the previous nine games. It’s pretty close to even money here to have him just record a point to cash in. We suggest riding his wave.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Avalanche – 1.5 and UNDER 6.5 goals (+225, DraftKings)
We tried to find you a value bet on a game where we’re pretty confident in the outcome. The best combination where you can earn some extra bang for your buck is to parlay the Avalanche winning by more than 1.5 goals and bumping the over/under line up a half puck and then taking the under 6.5 goals.
This allows Colorado to get their score on, Grubauer to play the way he plays, and even gives Kane a chance to keep his point streak going, all while you cash in. Perfect storm, right?
Sharks vs. Avalanche Prediction
Colorado is an excellent team on home ice where they are 13-1-2 over their last 16 games. This is only their fourth home game this month and first since April 12. You can bet they’re looking forward to getting back in front of their fans and also getting back on track. Meanwhile, the Sharks are 2-7-1 in their last 10 away from home. We really don’t think this one will be close.
Pick: Make it Avalanche 5, Sharks 1