Betting the Pucks: The Sharks Visit St. Louis as Heavy Dogs

San Jose Sharks (+137) at the St. Louis Blues (-149) Total: 5.5

The St. Louis Blues, in second place in the Central division, welcome the San Jose Sharks into the Scottrade Center on Tuesday evening . The Sharks have scored 2.3 goals per game away from home in 2013 while giving up 2.8 goals to its opponents, earning San Jose a 2-3-1 record away from the HP Pavilion. San Jose is still looking for its first win this month, going 0-4-3 in February so far this year. “We just have to keep working,” Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. “We’ll work our way out of this and that’s all we can do. It’s tough, but we have a lot of veterans here.”

This will be the Sharks’ fourth game on their six game road trip. San Jose is averaging 27.7 shots per game as visitors, and giving up 31.8 shots to its opponents. The Sharks have gone under in 71% of its games this year.

The Blues are coming offf a 3-0 road trip after winning a 4-3 shootout over the Northwest Division leader Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. The win broke the Blues’ five game winless streak. It wasn’t easy coming back home, however. The Blues’ flight out of Vancouver on Monday morning was postponed eight hours due to mechanical problems with the airplane, and St. Louis wasn’t expected to land until well past midnight.

St. Louis is 3-3-1 at home so far this year, scoring 3.1 goals a game while giving up 3.4 goals per game. They are averaging 29.4 shots on goal at home, with a 11% shot success rate. On defense, the Blues have allowed 19.6 shots on goal for a 18% shot success rate. St. Louis is 5-4-1 in its last 10 games, with a goal differential of 4 goals so far this season. St. Louis has gone over in 73% of its games in 2013.

The Blues are expected to start Jake Allen in the net on Tuesday against San Jose. Allen has won his first three starts this season after being called up February 12. The Blues will ride Allen while he is hot, giving him his fourth consecutive start. Allen is taking advantage of his opportunity with Brian Elliott struggling and Jaroslav Halak sidelined with a groin injury.

This is the first of three meetings between these two teams. They last met in the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals, a series that the Blues won in five games.

College Basketball Betting: Florida heads to Missouri as Six-Point Favorites

Missouri, clawing for their post-season lives thanks to its struggles on the road, welcome the Florida Gators to Columbia on Tuesday night. The Tigers are six point underdogs to the Gators, with the total set at 139.

Missouri averages 84 points per game at home in six SEC games, compared to 64 on the road — a 20-point difference. The Tigers know what they are in for on Tuesday night.

“We’re playing one of the best teams in the country, if not the best team in the country,” coach Frank Haith said Monday. “They’re a very gifted, talented group on both ends of the court. Very good, very sound, experienced.”

Florida has won seven of its 10 road games this season, but the Gators have yet to defeat an NCAA Tournament-quality team on the road. The Gators have beaten their past three conference opponents by an average of 24 points since its  lone loss at Arkansas.

“I thought Auburn had a real good environment,” coach Billy Donovan said. “Our guys have played in difficult situations. I don’t think that there’s anything that we’re going to talk about environment-wise that’s going to take our guys totally back or off-guard.”

Florida Notes:
Florida, ranked #1 in the Pomeroy ratings, is 21-3 overall and 11-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Scoring 1.2 points each possession, Florida ranks first in the conference in Offensive Efficiency. They rank third in turnover percentage, sixth in offensive rebounding, first in three pointers, ninth in free throw percentage, and tenth in pace. Florida’s opponent’s average 0.8 points per possession in the Southeastern Conference, lowest in the conference. They hold opponents to a 42.2% effective field goal rate, first in the Southeastern Conference. They rank fourth in turnover percentage, second in offensive rebounding, in two point field goal percentage, second in three pointers, and eighth in free throw percentage.

Missouri Notes:
Missouri is 7-5 in the Southeastern Conference and 18-7 overall in the 2012-13 season. According to Ken Pomeroy, the Tigers have the #17 rated offense and #66 rated defense in college basketball, adjusted for schedule strength. Missouri is second in the Southeastern Conference in Offensive Efficiency, averaging 1.1 points per possession on offense. They are third in effective field goal percentage in the conference. They rank sixth in turnover percentage, third in offensive rebounding, third in two point field goal percentage, fifth in three pointers, first in free throw percentage, and third in pace. Missouri has the sixth ranked team in the Southeastern in defensive efficiency, allowing 1 points per possession to its conference opponents. Opponents have a 49.1% effective field goal rate, ninth in the conference. They rank eighth in forcing turnovers, first in rebounding, eighth in opponent’s two point percentage, eighth in opponent’s three point percentage, twelfth in blocks, and fifth in steals.