San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche 12/31/23 NHL Latest Preview, Forecast, and Picks

San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche 12/31/23 NHL Latest Preview, Forecast, and Picks

San Jose Sharks (9-24-3) vs. Colorado Avalanche (21-11-3)

 

San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche 12/31/23 – The upcoming NHL regular season game on Sunday, features a stark contrast between the struggling San Jose Sharks and the high-flying Colorado Avalanche. With the Sharks at a concerning record, they face a daunting challenge against the Avalanche, who boast a solid standing. This matchup at the Ball Arena is drawing considerable attention, especially for those seeking NHL no-cost picks. The Sharks, looking to upset the odds, will need to dig deep to match up against the Avalanche’s proven prowess.

 

Tomas Hertl has led San Jose’s offensive efforts this season with 27 points thanks to 12 goals and 15 assists. However, their performance has been hindered by poor defensive solidity as seen through negative plus/minus ratings for players on their roster. When up against Avalanche’s tough defense, Mikael Granlund and William Eklund will need to be extra sharp and aggressive to create scoring chances and score goals for San Jose.

 

On the other side of things, Colorado Avalanche have produced an electrifying offense. Led by Nathan MacKinnon with 56 points from 19 goals and 37 assists, their attack has been one of the best seen this season. Alongside MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar have played key roles in building their formidable attack – an intimidating force expected to give Sharks’ defense some difficulties this season.

 

San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche 12/31/23 Game Info

 

When: Sunday, December 31, 2023 at 8:00 PM ET
Where: Ball Arena
TV: ESPN+
Stream: NHL.TV

 

Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood vs. Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev

 

The San Jose Sharks have struggled to keep the puck out of their net this season. Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood has posted ugly numbers in his 23 starts, including a bloated 3.92 goals against average. However, Blackwood has faced a barrage of shots behind a porous Sharks defense, seeing over 30 shots per 60 minutes. If San Jose can limit high-danger scoring chances, Blackwood has the reflexes to make the routine saves. The Avalanche offense has only averaged 2.8 goals over their past five games so Blackwood could benefit from a low-event game. 

 

On the other side, Alexandar Georgiev has been steady for the Avalanche in net this campaign. While his .897 save percentage is middling, he has 17 wins in 28 starts for the league’s highest-scoring team. Georgiev hasn’t seen many shots recently though, with under 25 attempts against him in 4 of his last 5 outings. If the Sharks are able to consistently test him with shots from all angles, he could begin to leak goals. While the San Jose attack lacks firepower, they may be able to exploit the rusty Georgiev through volume and traffic in front. 

 

NHL Odds/Point Spread: TBD, Total Odds: TBD

 

Betting odds, which are yet to be released, will provide a clearer picture of how the matchup is viewed by the odds makers. These odds will be instrumental in shaping betting strategies and expectations for the game.

 

San Jose Sharks Betting Trends

 

The Sharks are 1-4 straight up and against the spread over their last five contests. They have been double-digit underdogs in their last seven games indicating they are massive longshots each night. The San Jose offense has only eclipsed 3 goals once in its last 10 outings. With six OVERs in their previous seven road contests, the Sharks defense is hemorrhaging goals away from home.

 

Colorado Avalanche Betting Trends

 

Despite leading the Central division, Colorado has posted a middling 3-2 record over its last five games. The Avalanche are also 3-2 against the spread over that span. At home, the Avs have been slightly below average with a 5-12 mark versus the number. But Colorado’s offense has still been elite, scoring over 3.5 goals per game. With 11 OVERs in 18 home matchups, the Avalanche play high-event games in Denver.

 

San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche 12/31/23 Betting Picks

 

Considering the current form and team dynamics, the Avalanche clearly have the upper hand in this matchup. Their offensive strength and more stable defense give them a significant edge over the Sharks. However, the unpredictability of hockey means the Sharks could still present some surprises.

 

For bettors, focusing on the over/under might be intriguing, given both teams’ recent high-scoring games. Additionally, individual player performance bets could offer value, especially considering the strong contributors on the Avalanche. For those seeking premium expert advice, the focus should be on analyzing specific matchups and player forms to make informed betting decisions.

 

Free Pick and Prediction: Colorado Avalanche 5, San Jose Sharks 2 

 

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