The Philadelphia Flyers will make the long flight to the other side of the country to do war with the San Jose Sharks in what should be an intriguing showdown. It is about that time to take an exclusive glimpse at our NHL odds series where our Flyers-Sharks prediction and pick will be made.
The nightmare of a season marches on as the 11-17-7 Flyers limp into this one after taking one off the chin in a disheartening 6-5 loss to the Hurricanes. While the first handful of games were promising for Philadelphia, it quickly turned south as the Flyers only have generated 29 points on the year.
Believe it or not, the Sharks have accumulated one less point on their way to an 11-19-6 overall record and like the Flyers, have struggled mightily to get things figured out. After San Jose was able to string together an impressive victory over the Minnesota Wild 5-2, they were bounced by the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
Here are the Flyers-Sharks NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Flyers-Sharks Odds
Philadelphia Flyers: +1.5 (-184)
San Jose Sharks: -1.5 (+148)
Over: 6.5 (-104)
Under: 6.5 (-118)
Why The Flyers Could Cover The Spread
Without a doubt, the Flyers' struggles this year have pointed to a lack of offense. In fact, Philly has been so lackluster with the puck in their possession that they rank out as the fifth-worst offense in the league with only 2.57 goals per game. Nevertheless, Philadelphia has shown slight glimpses of improvement offensively with 13 goals in their last three games, and the real test will be if they can keep up with this newfound success on offense.
Even though the cupboard has been bare for much of the season, the Flyers are still equipped with some talented pieces including guys like Travis Konechy, who currently has scored the most goals on the team with 15 and also leads the club with 32 points overall. The first-round pick from 2015, Konechy has blossomed into a respectable skater and has become a victim of playing on a porous Flyers squad. Regardless, Konechy has the type of ability to single-handily take over a game by himself and is coming off three-straight two-point performances. Simply put, finding ways to get Konechy some looks will be a major priority for the Flyers if they want to avoid failure.
Throughout all the negativity that Philadelphia has endured, they are at least receiving some good news in the form of goalie Carter Hart returning to the fold after getting injured versus Carolina. On paper, Hart hasn't been necessarily impressive from a numbers perspective, but he has the talent to be a top-ten goalie in the NHL. As of now, Hart has not recorded a shutout this year and it would be the perfect time for the 24-year-old to play at a season-best this evening.
Why The Sharks Could Cover The Spread
After a stretch of games against competitive competition, the Sharks can breathe a sigh of relief looking at a Flyers squad on the schedule that has scuffled just as bad as San Jose. Certainly, this does not guarantee a victorious triumph by any means, but the chances of the Sharks covering sit in a much better position than it has in the last week or so.
At first glance, San Jose has a considerable advantage offensively as they are averaging nearly half of a goal more than the Flyers, but have struggled just a bit more than Philly in stopping the puck from entering their own net. Currently, San Jose gives up 3.64 goals per game and have not looked that much better lately as they have allowed 15 goals over the past 180 minutes of play. With that being said, jumping out to an early lead in this battle of lessers will be critical given the fact that San Jose will most likely let in a couple of softies at some point.
Most importantly, can the Sharks take advantage of the Flyer's inability to kill off power plays? Entering play, Philadelphia has let a whopping 27 goals be scored on the power play and are one of the worst penalty-killing teams that the league has to offer. In hindsight, San Jose has managed to capitalize on 22% of their scoring chances when receiving the extra-man advantage, so continuing the trend of some sloppy shorthanded defense by the Flyers may indeed being the difference in covering.
Final Flyers-Sharks Prediction & Pick
With a horrendous 4-10-5 record at home, it is hard to put your full trust into a shaky Sharks team to win by 1.5 goals even with squaring off with a bad Flyers crew. Despite this late-night tilt leaving much to be desired, the best chance to win an extra couple of dollars will be due to Philadelphia covering the spread with their imposing 21-14 record ATS thus far this year.
Final Flyers-Sharks Prediction & Pick: Flyers +1.5 (-184)