NHL Betting: Sharks to withstand Avalanche

Our belated first week of NHL is over, and there's been plenty of shocks to whet the appetite for what's to come. Today's early game sees the currently perfect San Jose Sharks up against the Colorado Avalanche, themselves impressing of late too, albeit against struggling clubs. San Jose's top line has been the most productive in the league, with Patrick Marleau the main benefactor in the goal column: he has a league best 6 goals and is 2.70 to at least once tonight. Big favourites at home keep getting burned, so the Avs are tempting at 3.35, but back the San Jose offensive juggernaut to keep rolling at 1.92.

Florida and Philadelphia will want to blank last week from their memories after posting disappointing 1-3 records, but their meeting is a good chance for one of them to get going. Scott Hartnell is out for 4-8 weeks for Philly and his physicality is a big loss, not something they needed when they're currently struggling up front. For the Panthers it's a similar story since netting five in their opener; they've mustered just two scores in the last three games. The Flyers are favourites despite some terrible away efforts so far. I think that makes Florida good value in their own building at 2.55.

Nashville are currently in the midst of a seven-game road trip and have the chance to go Ducks hunting in Anaheim. Good morale is essential on extended stays away from home and they should have that after beginning with two positive results. A promising start for the Ducks was halted abruptly by a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Vancouver yesterday, increasing the pressure on them to perform in front of their own fans in this one. The Predators won all four meetings between these two last year and are good value to maintain that dominance at 2.65

Best bet: Florida Panthers to win at 2.55