Sharks and Predators test Tuesday NHL odds

By: David Schwab | Monday, February 14, 2011

The Predators have won three of the last five meetings with the Sharks.

The San Jose Sharks will be looking to snap a two-game skid when they invade Bridgestone Arena to face off against the Nashville Predators this Tuesday night. Game time is set for 4 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast locally on FOX Sports-Tennessee.

San Jose’s five-game winning streak ended unexpectedly with a 2-1 loss to New Jersey last Friday as a 144 road favorite. The Sharks followed this up with a 3-2 loss to Florida as a 138 road favorite. The two losses dropped them to 30-21-4 straight-up on the year and 25-32 against the spread.

The Sharks total 66 points and are currently two points behind Dallas in the Pacific Division standings, and in seventh-place in the Western Conference.

Center Logan Couture leads the team with 24 goals and left winger Patrick Marleau is second with 21. Right winger Dany Heatley is the points leader with 48 (19 goals and 28 assists) and center Joe Thornton helps round out a very potent offense with a team-high 32 assists. The Sharks are averaging 2.72 goals a game, tying them with Anaheim for 15th in the league.

San Jose goalie Annti Niemi is expected to get the start in this game. He has a goals-against average of 2.56 and a .916 save percentage in 36 previous starts. The Sharks are giving up an average of 2.61 goals a game, ranking them 11th in the NHL.

Nashville has won three of its last four games including a huge 4-1 win over Detroit last Wednesday as a 147 road underdog and a 5-3 victory over Colorado as a 153 home favorite this past Saturday. The Predators trail the Red Wings in the Central Division by seven points with a total of 67 points on the year. They are 30-19-4 SU overall (38-18 ATS) and in fifth-place in the West.

Right winger Patric Hornqvist is Nashville’s leading goal scorer with 17 and he is third on the team in total points with 31. Defenseman Shea Weber actually leads the team in points with 35 (11 goals and 24 assists) while another defenseman Ryan Sutter leads in assists with 25. The Predators are ranked near the bottom of the league in scoring with a goals-per-game average of 2.57.

Look for Pekka Rinne to be between the pipes against the Sharks on Tuesday night. He has started 39 games this season and has a GGA of 2.11 which is third-best in the NHL and a save percentage of .928, which ranks him second. Behind Rinne’s strong play, Nashville is ranked second in the league in goals allowed; giving up an average of just 2.32 a game.

San Jose is 9-8 this season as an underdog and 21-19 as a favorite. The total has gone over in 29 of its 57 games this year. Nashville is 11-10 as a favorite and 19-16 as an underdog this season. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 31 of its 56 games which is 55.4 percent of the time.

Head-to-head, the Predators have won three of the last five games including two games this season. They won 3-2 on Dec. 15 as a 111 home underdog and 2-1 as a 151 road underdog on Jan.8. The total stayed ‘under’ in both of those games.

This time around Nashville should open as a mild favorite, but do not be surprised if the money line ends up slightly favoring the Sharks. Either way stick with the Predators to make it three straight wins over San Jose in another close, low-scoring affair.

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