Free Picks: San Jose Sharks vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Sharks vs Golden Knights NHL week 18
San Jose Sharks vs. Vegas Golden Knights, NHL, SAP Center at San Jose

The Golden Knights are trying to lock down first place in the division. A win is important since Colorado is breathing down their necks. The Sharks have little on the line except pride. Will the Sharks finally solve the Golden Knights to prevent an 8-0 goose egg in their season series?

Vegas has been dominant all season

The Golden Knights have been dominant against San Jose all season, outscoring the Sharks by an aggregate 27-14 score in their previous seven games. Vegas comes into this game on a roll, going 7-3 in their last 10.

The Sharks have gone 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and scoring is their biggest issue. They have averaged only two goals a game against the Golden Knights, which is down from their season average of 2.65. The Golden Knights love playing the Sharks. They are averaging 3.85 goals a game, which is up from their season average of 3.35.

What is most impressive about Vegas is their goal differential of +61 over the season. They lead the league in that department. They’ve been able to accomplish that with a strong offense combined with a strong defense. Vegas leads the league in team defense, having surrendered an average of only 2.22 goals a game. The Sharks rank No. 29, having allowed an average of 3.45 goals a game.

The best sports bet today is taking Vegas on the Money Line or the Under in total goals. I think Vegas has a 70% chance of winning this game outright, but be careful on the Puck Line. Vegas has only about a 40% chance of covering because four of their victories against the Sharks have been by only one goal. 

If you’re going to bet the underdog on the NHL game odds, look at the Puck Line because I think the Sharks have about a 60% chance of covering (+1.5) with 10Bet (-156) because four of Vegas’ seven victories against San Jose have been by only one goal. 

Vegas has erupted for at least four goals across four games in this series, but I don’t expect a goal explosion with little on the line to motivate them. San Jose has exceeded two goals in this series only twice, or about 30% of the time.  

For my Free Picks and predictions, I project a 3-2 Vegas victory. The odds (6.0) favor the Under in total goals (-118) and I think there is good value here.. The Under has cashed five times in this seven-game series or about 70% of the time. Go with the Under unless you are seduced by Vegas’ firepower. Then go with the Over for a bigger payout (-107) but with a bit more risk.

Stats

  • The total has gone Under in five of Vegas’ last seven games.
  • Vegas is 14-3 SU in their last 17 games.
  • San Jose is 4-3 ATS at home in their last 10 games at home. 
  • The total has gone Over in six of San Jose’s last seven games at home.

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I live in the land of ice and snow in Toronto, Canada's largest city. I can't skate very well, but I know sports, especially hockey, after a long career writing about the Toronto Maple Leafs and other teams at the country's largest newspaper, the Toronto Star. Betting on sports can be a rewarding experience when you understand the trends and underlying characteristics of the teams and players before laying down a bet. That's how I hope to point you in the right direction.