NHL Hockey Betting: San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings

NHL Hockey Betting:  San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings&h=235&w=320&zc=1

For Canadian fans this will be the first Saturday night without hockey. Without any Canadian teams in the playoffs it becomes more of a spectator interest than a ‘rooting interest’ but nevertheless there are some very interesting series on tap including this one between longtime rivals San Jose and Los Angeles. The Kings finished second in the Pacific Division while the Sharks finished third.

Here’s where the fun begins–the Sharks are the best road team in hockey. Only one team has more *home* wins than San Jose’s 28 road victories (28-10-3). At home, however, they play like a lottery team. Only four teams have fewer home wins than San Jose and they’re all in the running for the first overall draft pick and Auston Matthews–not in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s not unprecedented for teams to be better at home than on the road. Buffalo and Boston had more road wins than home wins. It is strange for a team to perform to these extremes. Los Angeles had a tendency to play very well at home and struggle on the road for a few years but they’ve got things balanced out now: 26-12-3 at home, 22-16-3 on the road.

The Sharks’ bizarre home/away tendencies will shape how we play this series. We had the Sharks in Game One and we’ll come right back with them here. We’ll then very likely go against them at home in Game Three. The Sharks have been at their best in road games with defensive oriented teams. Playing on the road with a total of 5 or less they’re 19-5 +15.2 units on the season. They’ve also put up a record of 12-3 +8.4 units against winning teams in the second half of the season. The Kings aren’t in especially good form and have lost 8 of 12 down the stretch in the regular season and Game One of this series. They may have been playing their ‘best hockey of the year’ in February and could have reached their plateau too early. In any case, can’t see laying a price against San Jose given their road success.


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