In their first head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Minnesota Wild and the San Jose Sharks take the ice at the SAP Center in a Western Conference showdown. The puck drops at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 10, and you can catch it live on Fox Sports North Plus.
Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks Odds
San Jose (-125) is currently the favorite over Minnesota (+105), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -135 under, +115 over.
San Jose is 16-12 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. That winning percentage, ranked 3rd in the Pacific Division in this young season, is right in line with the 46-36 record the team managed during the 2016-17 season campaign. Among the teams 28 games this season, seven have gone under the total, while seven have gone over and just one has pushed. This season, the team is 9-7 SU at home.
The Sharks have converted on 19.1 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked second overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 87.4 percent of all penalties.
As a team, the Sharks have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 5.0 per game over their last five match ups. The team has had to kill penalties for a whopping 14.0 minutes per game over their last five matchups, in total.
With a .919 save percentage and 25.5 saves per game, Martin Jones (11 wins, nine losses, and two OT losses) has been the best goalkeeper for the Sharks this year. If the Sharks choose to give him a breather, however, head coach Peter Deboer may turn to Aaron Dell (5-6-6 record, .939 save percentage, 1.72 goals against average).
Logan Couture and Joe Thornton will both lead the way for the Sharks. Couture (25 points) has tallied 15 goals and 10 assists and has recorded multiple points in six different games this year. Thornton has five goals and 15 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 15 games.
Over on the other bench, Minnesota is 14-14 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 28 regular season outings, 15 of its games have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and just two have pushed. The Wild are 6-9 SU as the away team this season.
The Wild have converted on 22.0 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s good enough for seventh-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 10th overall and it’s successfully defended 82.4 percent of all opponent power plays.
Minnesota’s players have been penalized 4.1 times per game in total this season, and 5.6 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to defend opponent power plays 15.0 minutes per game over their last five road outings.
Devan Dubnyk (28.6 saves per game) has been the main option in goal for Minnesota. Dubnyk owns a 12-10-2 record, while registering a .914 save percentage and 2.73 goals against average this year.
Jason Zucker (14 goals, 10 assists) and Eric Staal (10 goals, 13 assists) have been the top playmakers for Minnesota and will pace the attack for the visiting Wild.
Minnesota Wild at San Jose Sharks Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Sharks, O/U – Under
- Six of San Jose’s last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals. The club is 4-2 overall in those games.
- The Wild are 8-9 SU when they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Sharks are 7-6 SU in games where they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
- San Jose is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Minnesota is 1-1 in shootouts.
- The total has gone under in three of San Jose’s last five outings.
- San Jose is ranked 30th this season with 14.6 giveaways per game. That figure has trended down recently, however, as it’s averaged 12.3 giveaways over its last 10 games and 11.0 giveaways over its last five.
- Minnesota skaters have averaged 7.6 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 6.5 giveaways per game (the fourth-fewest in the league).