Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#9 San Jose Sharks 6.5 vs.
#10 Tampa Bay Lightning -205
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
Amalie Arena, Tampa
Written by Scott Reichel

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This Saturday, there is a matchup between a Western Conference team and an Eastern Conference team in the NHL as the San Jose Sharks and the Tampa Bay Lightning will face off at about 7:00 PM. This will be the first meeting between these teams this season and it will take place at the Amalie Arena.

Sharks Look To Move Up In Standings

So far this season, the San Jose Sharks have been a decent team in the Western Conference. The Sharks have a 15-13-2 record which has them in possession of fifth place in the Pacific Division. However, San Jose is still in striking distance of moving up into the top-three spots of the division as it is only three points out of that spot with a lot of games left in the regular season. Now, San Jose will look for another road win in this game which will help bring it closer to one of those premier spots.

Leading the Sharks offensively is centerLogan Couture who has looked great so far this season. He already has 29 points through the first 30 games of the regular season. In addition, he also has a Plus/Minus Rating of +3.

The starting goalie for the Sharks in this game will be Martin Jones who has been okay so far this season. He has a 12-9-1 record with a 3.16 GAA and a .892 save percentage. Last season, Jones had a 1-1-0 record along with 4.04 GAA and a .822 save percentage. Now, he will look for another win against them on Saturday.

Tampa Bay Continues To Struggle

So far this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have looked very underwhelming. The Lightning are currently 13-10-3 which gives them a total of 29 points. As a result, they are currently in possession of sixth place in the Atlantic Division. In addition, they enter this game in terrible form as they have lost four of their last five games. Now, Tampa Bay will look to get back to its usual winning ways in front of its home crowd on Saturday. If Tampa Bay does not start winning games anytime soon, its season could very well be in the balance.

Leading the Lightning offensively will be right-wingerNikita Kucherov who has looked great so far this season. He has already recorded a team-high 31 points in just 25 games. In addition, he also has a Plus/Minus Rating of +6 so he has been very effective on even strength. Now, he will look to lead his team to another victory in this game.

The starting goalie for the Lightning in this game will be Andrei Vasilevskiy who has been solid this season. So far this season, he has a 10-8-1 record along with a 3.01 GAA and a .903 save percentage. Last season, Vasilevskiy had a 1-1-0 record with a 4.00 GAA and a .889 save percentage against the Sharks.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Tampa Bay has underachieved  all season long and San Jose has started to play better lately so I will take the road team in this game. Tampa Bay has lost four of its last five games so I think that this line is a bit too high for the Lightning in this game. Tampa Bay also has the worse defense in this matchup which is concerning since San Jose has the talent to put up a ton of goals when given the opportunity. Give me the road team as a result.

Prediction: San Jose Sharks

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams have a ton of talent offensively and I think that this total is too low as a result. Tampa Bay is averaging 3.62 goals per game while allowing 3.31 goals per game so it typically plays in very high-scoring games. San Jose has the talent to punish Tampa Bay's lackluster defense due to its elite special teams and its very talented offensive corps. This game should end somewhere in the realm of 4-3 so I will take the over in this game.

Prediction: Over 6.5

Half-Time Side Pick

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San Jose has gotten off to fast starts lately as it has scored at least one goal in the first 20 minutes of each of its last six games so I think that there is value on the road team in this game. Tampa Bay is prone to giving up a lot of goals and San Jose has proven that it has the capability of putting pucks into the back of the net early on in games so I think that the Sharks should be able to get on the scoreboard at least once in the first 20 minutes of this game which sets them up well to win the period. Give me the road team.

Prediction: San Jose 1P
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.