The second half of the NHL season is now well under way, and that means that the trade deadline is fast approaching. Teams will have to decide whether they are going to be buyers or sellers, and you would have to think that the teams that are in the playoff picture right now would fall into the former category. Two of those clubs, the San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning, will hook up at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on Tuesday, February 16. The full NHL online betting odds for this one will be available tomorrow morning.
San Jose Sharks vs Tampa Bay Lightning Free NHL Prediction
How to bet San Jose Sharks Vs Tampa Bay Lightning
There is very little to separate these two teams in terms of stats and how they have been playing as of late. This looks like a very good match-up, and one that may be a little tougher to handicap than most. Do you give the edge to the Lightning at home, or do you go with a Sharks team that is playing very well right now?
Why bet on the San Jose Sharks
The Sharks (29-20-5) are trying to chase down the Kings at the top of the Pacific Division in the Western Conference, and have put together a respectable 6-2-2 record in their last 10 games to help their cause. San Jose are one of the few teams in the league that has a much better record on the road than they do at home. While they are currently a game under .500 on home ice, they have skated to an impressive 18-8-2 record on the road, which makes them a very good value proposition for this game. They did lose 4-3 to the Lightning in their only other meeting this season, but that one did come on home ice. The Sharks are averaging 2.9 GPG, and are giving up 2.7 GPG so far this season.
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning
It could be argued that the Lightning (30-21-4) are not playing as well as they did last season, but they are still just sitting 6 points out of the top spot in the Atlantic Division. Consistency has been something of an issue for Tampa this season, and while they are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games, they have dropped 3 of their last 4. Home ice is where Tampa have been more comfortable this season, as they have produced an 18-9-2 record there so far this season, as opposed to being just .500 on the road. As mentioned earlier, one of those road wins came against the Sharks, but given how San Jose plays at home, that result may not matter for much here. The Lightning are averaging 2.6 GPG, and are giving up 2.4 GPG.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is a case of the home ice heroes versus the road warriors, and I have to believe that it is the road team that is going to get the win here. The Lightning have not been very good over the past week or so, and I think they will come up a little short.