Sharks vs. Predators prediction: Take a bite with San Jose

The 2022-23 NHL season kicks off on Friday afternoon with a game in Prague between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, two teams with very different expectations heading into the new campaign.

While the Sharks are projected to be one of the worst teams in the NHL with a season point total set at 75.5 points, the Predators are being priced as a playoff team at 96.5 points.

There is no question the Predators are better than the Sharks on paper, but the market perception on Nashville does seem a bit high.

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The Preds finished last season with 97 points and a +12 goal differential (not including shootouts), but to get to that mark they needed several players to put up career years. Roman Josi recorded the most points by a defenseman in 30 years. Juuse Saros was a Vezina Trophy finalist. Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene combined for 85 goals. Ryan Johansen turned back the clock with a resurgent campaign. And Tanner Jeannot came out of nowhere as a 24-year-old rookie to nab 24 goals himself.

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And even with all of that, the Preds barely made it into the playoffs before being bounced by the Avalanche in a Round 1 sweep (albeit without Saros).

Betting against Saros may not seem like a fun way to begin a new NHL season, but may as well do it now before the Finnish goaltender gets into top form. These -200 odds in this matchup flatter the Preds. Hold your nose and take the Sharks.

The play: Sharks +170

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