NHL Hockey Betting: San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL Hockey Betting:  San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins

The Stanley Cup Finals get underway Monday night as the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins play Game One at the Consol Energy Center. The Penguins got here by eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games while the Sharks finished off the St. Louis Blues in six games.

The Sharks were one of the best teams of the past decade but oddly this is their first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. In fact, for many years the franchise had a reputation as a perinneal playoff disappointment. That changed this year though it was very unexpected. The Sharks were a strange regular season team for a Stanley Cup Finalist. They had the best road record in the National Hockey League but were abysmal at home (18-20-3). Their home record was easily the worst among playoff teams and was actually worst than the last place team in the Central Division (Winnipeg) and the last place team in the Pacific Divison and Western Conference (Edmonton).

They didn’t exactly run roughshod through the playoffs either. They beat a slumping LA Kings team in the first round but needed a full seven games to win their next two series beating the Nashville Predators in the conference semifinals and the St. Louis Blues in the conference finals.

The Penguins were also a bit of a surprise–but only because of their awful start to the season. Once they hired current head coach Mike Sullivan the team took off and entered the playoffs as the hottest team in the NHL. Pittsburgh won 14 of their last 16 games and have been solid throughout the playoffs. They beat the Detroit Red Wings in the first round, the Washington Capitals in the second and the Tampa Bay Lightning in the confrerence finals.

Two very evenly matched teams in a toss up series but the price is the big consideration. Just like they were in the last round, Pittsburgh is overpriced here. They’re a very ‘public’ team which is the only reason they’re -150 here. We’d rather have the Sharks at +130 for value alone. Getting plus money on one side of a coin flip will make you plenty in the long run.