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NHL Odds & Pick for Jets vs. Oilers: Why Edmonton is the Pick in North Clash (Wednesday, Feb. 17)

NHL Odds & Pick for Jets vs. Oilers: Why Edmonton is the Pick in North Clash (Wednesday, Feb. 17) article feature image

Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Connor Hellebuyck.

Jets vs. Oilers Odds

Jets Odds +118
Oilers Odds -136
Over/Under 6.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday and via DraftKings.

The NHL has a long history of self-immolation. They seem to go out of their way to create rules, or labor strife, where it need not exist. They wiped out an entire season this century. It’s the only one of the four major North American sports that they’ve made it more difficult to score. Don’t get me started about video review of offside calls. 

This is a betting website and app, so when it comes to handicapping the NHL there’s a bigger issue that’s driving hockey bettors crazy. It’s almost impossible to get rock solid information on who is going to be the goaltender that night.

For some teams, that doesn’t matter all that much. When it might result in the presence of aged veteran Mike Smith being between the pipes, it’s critical. 

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Winnipeg Jets

The Jets jumped all over the Oilers’ backup goaltender in the first 23 minutes on Monday, and four goals on 11 shots later, Edmonton was digging their way out of a three-goal hole. The Jets managed just six High-Danger Chances (HDC) at even-strength but were able to convert two of them. Fortunately for Winnipeg, the Jets scored once on the power play and three times in non-HDC situations, scoring the 6-5 win after blowing 4-1 and 5-3 leads. 

The win comes after a loss on Saturday in the final seconds to the Senators, but doesn’t change the underlying issue for the Jets that isn’t going away, and likely won’t anytime soon. Winnipeg is a horrific defensive team. The Jets average 2.09 Expected Goals Against (xGA) and give up over 10 HDC per game, at even-strength. Both are the worst in the North Division. 

My “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, as heard on “THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast,” makes the Jets almost 11% below average when 5-on-5. The fact they’ve won nine of their 15 games this season is statistically improbable.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers could have made the Jets record a little more sensical, after they came all the way back to tie Monday’s game at 5. Edmonton fired 45 shots at Connor Hellebuyck, scoring three times on 11 HDC at even strength. This type of offensive effort, at both an above-average creation level and conversion rate, should result in victory but obviously finding themselves in an early hole would make that difficult. 

While the Oilers are merely a completely average team at even-strength, that’s good enough to win half their games, which is almost exactly where the Oilers are at with nine wins in their first 17 contests. They’re pretty much exactly the team we expected this season, with their top-end scoring carrying the load, trying to make up for what they give up defensively. 

Betting Analysis & Pick

As the Oilers and Jets meet for a second time, Edmonton will put Mika Koskinen back in the crease, but this time from the first puck drop, not after the fourth face-off after a Jets goal. 

I expect another back and forth affair, but this time the Oilers will get better goaltending and the Jets won’t get bailed out by theirs. My true moneyline for this game is Edmonton -131/Winnipeg +131, so if we can get a price close to -130 on the Oilers, I’ll pull the trigger on that.

Of course, we’ll need to know for sure who’s in net for Edmonton and while that can be a challenge these days, it’s impossible to believe the Oilers would go back to Smith after he got the hook on Monday night.

Pick: Oilers -136  (-140 or better)

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