At this stage of the NHL season, teams are either pulling away from the pack in their respective conferences or trying to put together a run that will ensure that life goes on beyond the end of the regular season. It is altogether too early to start prediction who will be in and who will be out, although there are some outliers on both sides of that equation. The final 20 games or so for each team is when every win or loss really starts to count, and that is especially true for those currently sitting in a playoff spot.
We have two of those teams going head to head on Thursday night in an East versus West match-up that will see the San Jose Sharks hit the road to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Sharks look like a sure bet to be part of the playoff picture, while the Penguins are doing enough to make it appear as though they will also be there. The Penguins are favored by 1 ½ in this one, with the O/U set at a rather lofty 7 goals.
Sharks vs Penguins NHL Week 21 Odds & Game Analysis
“I’m super excited to have Hales back. He’s a guy who always sticks up for his teammates and I know he loved being a Shark. A lot of guys kept in touch with him over the last couple years so I know we’re all glad to have him.” – Joe Thornton pic.twitter.com/zFVHGzGvUf— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) 20 de febrero de 2019
- When: Thursday, February 21 at 7 PM EST
- Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
- TV: NHL Center Ice
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Odds: Pittsburgh Penguins -110 (Total 7)
Why bet on the San Jose Sharks?
The San Jose Sharks are having themselves a very good season, picking up an impressive 78 points through 60 games, good enough for second in the Pacific Division. They are currently sitting 3 points off the pace there, but they are doing a very decent job of putting pressure on the Calgary Flames. San Jose comes into this one having gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, but they will be looking to improve upon their road record ahead of the postseason.
Their 16-12-3 record on the road is by no means awful, but given that they are going to need to win away from home in the playoffs, it a record they will be looking to improve. They have won 2 of 3 versus the Penguins in recent meetings, although both wins came on home ice.
- Goals: 3.65
- Shots: 33.98
- PP/PK Percentage: 24.43
- Goals: 3.17
- Shots: 28.55
- PP/PK Percentage: 18.18
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins?
The Penguins have been prone to bouts of inconsistency throughout the season, but despite having their ups and downs, they are still very much in the hunt for a Metropolitan Division crown, as they are in the #3 spot there, just 5 points off the pace being set by the Islanders. The Penguins were in a little bit of a swoon, but back to back wins have helped propel them to a 5-4-1 record over the past 10 games.
The Penguins are a respectable 17-11-2 on home ice this season, but one area where they have really excelled is in games against teams form the West, where they are 16-8-1. The Penguins have picked up the win in 4 of the last 5 visits from San Jose, so there are several things pointing to a Penguins win in this one.
- Goals: 3.50
- Shots: 32.63
- PP/PK Percentage: 24.85
- Goals: 3.12
- Shots: 33.57
- PP/PK Percentage: 18.18
Sharks vs Penguins NHL Week 21 Betting Trends
- San Jose is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
- San Jose is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 7 of San Jose’s last 8 games on the road
- Pittsburgh is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing San Jose
- Pittsburgh is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing San Jose
- The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Pittsburgh’s last 15 games when playing San Jose
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
While the past two meetings between these teams have delivered a total of 14 goals, I still think the O/U of 7 here is very high, which is why the UNDER seems like the best bet here. The home team has won in 4 of the last 5 meetings between the Penguins and the Sharks, so let’s take Pittsburgh in a close one.
Score: San Jose Sharks 2 – Pittsburgh Penguins 3