Ducks vs. Jets Odds, Preview, Prediction: Why You Should Back the Jets (Thursday, October 21)
Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Connor Hellebuyck
Ducks at Jets Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Winnipeg will look to get its season moving in the right direction as it gets reacquainted with a Ducks team that handed them a 4-1 loss on opening night in Anaheim.
The Jets managed just one point over a very disappointing three-game road swing that consisted of multi-goal collapses in San Jose and Minnesota.
Anaheim enters this one after a tough 6-5 loss in Edmonton. However, it has been scrappy in the early going while putting together a 2-2 record.
A number of the team’s top young talents such as Jamie Drysdale, Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry are having solid starts and most importantly, John Gibson has looked true to form in the pipes.
The Ducks have managed just 39.77% of the expected goals share throughout the first four contests however, and the team’s two wins against Calgary and Winnipeg very much fit that billing to my eye.
Anaheim finished dead last in goals for per game last season and although the team has some offensive pieces showing promise so far, it is hard to see this roster not finishing in the bottom quarter of the league in terms of offensive production this season.
Throughout four contests, the Ducks have managed to create just 2.14 xGF per game, while allowing the league’s second worst xGA average of 3.24.
They have hung around in large part due to excellent goaltending (a replicable result when you’ve got Gibson), but the Jets’ skillful top-six will offer Gibson quite a challenge should the Ducks not control much of the play.
Winnipeg has been far from its best in the early going of this season, but it has also been far from lucky.
The Jets saw their 6-4 empty net goal come off the board after a review as Kyle Connor was a hair offside in Minnesota. The Wild then tied the game on a very fluky redirection moments later and took it in overtime.
After multi goal collapses in back-to-back games, I think the Jets will enter this home opener with a ton of urgency. They are desperate to claim their first victory against a very manageable Ducks roster and will play a very sharp defensively sound contest.
Connor Hellebuyck has gotten off to a very rough start statistically, allowing -4.0 goals saved above expected with an .856 save percentage.
However, to my eye, Hellebuyck has looked reasonable and I am mainly chalking that up to some tough puck luck over a small sample size. Hellebuyck is one of few goalies who have been dominant over a multi-season sample size in recent years.
Ducks vs. Jets Pick
Winnipeg’s price might look a little underwhelming given its shaky start, but I just think this sets up as a very tough spot for a Ducks team that has inflated results in the early going this season.
To say the Jets are winning this contest 70% of the time is a reasonable proposition to me and at -180, there is still some value there when framed from that perspective.
The Ducks should figure to again be amongst the league’s bottom handful of teams with regards to goal production. I think we will see Winnipeg come out and control much of the play here, allowing its superstar net-minder in Hellebuyck a good chance to bounce back.
On that note, Hellebuyck has not been confirmed as the starter, but given the team’s winless start, and that it is the team’s first home game with fans in attendance in ages, it would be a peculiar spot to play backup Eric Comrie.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets -180, Play to -190.