Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks 1/6/24 NHL Best Picks, Preview, and Tips

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks 1/6/24 NHL Best Picks, Preview, and Tips

Toronto Maple Leafs (19-10-7) vs. San Jose Sharks (9-26-3)


Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks 1/6/24 – On Saturday’s NHL regular season game at SAP Center at San Jose, an exciting battle will unfold between Toronto Maple Leafs, and San Jose Sharks. Fans and bettors seeking NHL winning free picks alike should closely observe how these two sides at opposite ends of success compare as fans anticipate what could become one of the key matches of this year.


The Maple Leafs boast an incredible offensive lineup, led by right winger William Nylander with 51 points from 36 games (including 19 goals). Center Auston Matthews possesses sharpshooting skills which have garnered him 45 points – another essential player on their team alongside Mitchell Marner who contributed 39 points – making their offense one of quick transitions and precise shooting that presents significant challenge to Sharks defense which has shown vulnerabilities all year.


On the other side of things, San Jose Sharks’ offense led by center Tomas Hertl and featuring Mikael Granlund and William Eklund has shown glimpses of potential but has struggled for consistency. Hertl has posted 28 points while Granlund contributed 25. The Sharks rely heavily on power plays as part of their offensive strategy to create opportunities; their ability to convert chances into goals against an organization with strong defensive discipline will be crucial.


Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks 1/6/24 Game Info


When: Saturday, January 6, 2024, at 7:00 PM ET
Where: SAP Center at San Jose
Stream: NHL.TV


Goaltender Ilya Samsonov vs. Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood


Ilya Samsonov has posted disappointing numbers over his last five starts for the Maple Leafs. He owns an 862 save percentage during that span, allowing over three goals per game. Samsonov’s inconsistencies present a major concern for a Toronto team with Stanley Cup aspirations. If he fails to raise his performance level, the Maple Leafs could continue sliding down the standings. Samsonov must improve his rebound control and positioning against high-danger chances. The Sharks lack elite scorers but capitalize well on opposing goaltenders’ mistakes.


Mackenzie Blackwood has endured his own struggles in the crease for San Jose this season. He ranks near the bottom of the league in both save percentage and goals against average. Blackwood tends to overcommit on initial shots, leaving himself out of position for rebounds and cross-ice passes. Against Toronto’s skill and speed, his technical issues could be magnified. If Blackwood cannot track the puck more efficiently or control his depth in net, the Maple Leafs’ stars should feast on prime scoring chances. 


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


Current betting odds have yet to be set in stone, but it appears likely that the Maple Leafs are likely to be favored due to their impressive record. Conversely, while Sharks may be considered underdogs in certain betting markets due to potential upsets or close contests.


Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Trends


The Maple Leafs are 0-5 straight up and against the spread over their last five contests. Toronto is also just 5-11 against the spread on the road this season. However, the OVER has hit in 12 of the Maple Leafs’ last 18 games away from home. The offense ranks fifth in the NHL in goals per game but has uncharacteristically struggled to light the lamp lately. Backing Toronto to win and score over 2.5 goals could be wise against the Sharks’ porous defense.


San Jose Sharks Betting Trends


The Sharks have dropped four of their last five games straight up and against the spread. San Jose is also just 6-14 against the spread at home. On a positive note, the OVER has hit in four of the Sharks’ last five matchups overall. The team allows a league-worst 4.31 goals per contest at home this season. Considering Toronto’s offensive talent, betting the OVER on the Maple Leafs’ team total could be a strong play.


Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks 1/6/24 Betting Picks


Reviewing both teams’ performances and current forms, the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have an advantage. Their offense and consistent play make them a good pick; however, one should not disregard the Sharks’ potential to surprise in their home arena.


Betting-wise, it appears the safer pick is the Maple Leafs given their overall season performance and individual player strengths. Prop bets focused on goal totals from players like Matthews and Nylander could add extra value. Furthermore, exploring over/under markets might also provide extra insights given recent scoring trends of both teams.


Handicapper’s favorite picks would likely lean towards a victory for the Maple Leafs, but with a cautious approach, considering the unpredictable nature of the Sharks. This game, while seemingly tilted in favor of Toronto, could offer some surprises, making it an intriguing prospect for NHL enthusiasts and bettors alike.


Free Pick and Prediction: Toronto Maple Leafs 5, San Jose Sharks 2. 


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