Jets vs. Ducks NHL Odds, Pick, Preview: Anaheim Lacks Offensive Firepower (October 13)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Zegras
- The Winnipeg Jets are decent favorites over the Anaheim Ducks in their season opener on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
- The Ducks offense struggled big time last season and now has to deal with a great goaltender.
- Is this game ripe for a bet on the under? Jonny Lazarus breaks it down.
Jets at Ducks Odds
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With one of the best goalies in the league minding the net, the Winnipeg Jets are a potential sleeper this season. Their opponent, the Anaheim Ducks come into Opening Night with very low expectations.
Despite the fact that they’re on the road, the Jets are decent favorites in this one.
Last season, the Winnipeg Jets scored 3.04 goals per game, which was the 12th-best mark in the NHL.
Winnipeg’s offense has been key to its modest success over the past few seasons, but a big part of its lineup is missing on Wednesday as Mark Scheifele is still suspended.
Scheifele led the team in scoring last season with 21 Goals, 42 Assists and 63 points in 56 Regular Season games. He had 13 more points than the next player in the lineup. There is no doubt that the Jets will miss him during 5-on-5 play and when they have the man advantage.
While Scheifele is a big loss, the Jets’ most important player is goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who led the NHL last season with a +19.3 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx), per MoneyPuck.
Winnipeg allowed 2.71 goals per game last season, but most of the credit goes to Hellebuyck as the defense allowed the fifth-most High-Danger scoring chances last season, per Natural Stat Trick.
Winnipeg’s main focus this offseason was to make its blue line stronger, but Hellebuyck will always be the key cog.
The Anaheim Ducks were one of the worst teams in the NHL last season. Their biggest issue was a lackluster offense that finished 27th in 5-on-5 scoring, 27th in expected goals per 60 minutes and 20th in high-danger scoring chances created per 60.
Anaheim’s leading scorer last season was Max Comtois who finished with 16 Goals, 17 Assists and 33 Points in 55 games. Comtois is a nice player, but not the guy you’d expect to lead the way if you’re going to contend.
The plan for the Ducks this season is to pass the torch from players like Ryan Getzlaf and Cam Fowler to the next generation, which features up-and-comers Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale. Both players are near the top of the odds for the Calder Trophy, so they are expected to take a leap this season.
Although the Ducks haven’t named a starter at the time of writing, I would be shocked if John Gibson didn’t get the nod. Gibson was thought of as a Vezina-contender prior to last season, but he’s coming off a down year. His back-up, Anthony Stolarz, was fine in seven games last season, going 4-3 with a .926 SV%.
Jets at Ducks Pick
The Anaheim Ducks struggled mightily to score last season and didn’t do much this offseason to rectify that problem. I see no reason to doubt that Anaheim’s offensive struggles continue against a revamped Winnipeg defensive core.
To make matters worse, the Ducks are going up against one of the best goaltenders in the NHL on Opening Night. And while Winnipeg’s offense has shown it can score in the past, the Jets will be without Mark Scheifele, which should help keep this game under the total.
Pick: Under 5.5 (-120)