NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Jets vs. Lightning (March 12)

NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Jets vs. Lightning (March 12) article feature image

Via Jose Juarez/Getty Images. Pictured: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks for the puck against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on February 25, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan.

  • The Lightning are short home favorites on Sunday night against the Jets with both teams playing the second leg of a back-to-back.
  • These teams are fairly evenly matched, but do the Lightning have an edge in net?
  • Greg Liodice breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Jets vs. Lightning Odds

Jets Odds+160
Lightning Odds-194
Over/Under6.5 (+104/-128)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After a much needed win last night, the Winnipeg Jets head to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning. The Jets have gone 3-5-2 in one of the more important stretches of the season over their last 10 games. They’ll look to keep the momentum going to stay afloat in the playoff hunt.

Tampa hasn’t had it easy either. The three-time Eastern Conference champs have gone 3-4-3 in their last 10, including five losses in a row in that stretch. Luckily a win against the Blackhawks last night helped, but there’s still cause for concern for the Bolts.

Here’s a look at the odds, as well as a prediction for the Winnipeg Jets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Jets Power Play Struggling

Winnipeg is not only dealing with trouble in the standings but also on the IR. It lost Cole Perfetti’s services to a lower body injury, and Pierre-Luc Dubois is also out. Kyle Connor, Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele (who scored two goals last night) have been critical parts of this team's success. The addition of Nino Niederreiter has been proven to be a major spark with four points in five games.

Since March began, the Jets have been a fairly mediocre team. They’ve generated some even strength offense, placing 17th in Expected Goals at 50.25 xGF%. However, the power play has suffered – what once was a top-10 team has dropped to 19th.

Defensively, Winnipeg has mostly held strong. Having Connor Hellebuyck doesn’t hurt, only allowing 2.8 goals per game, and the penalty kill is third-best. It’s also eighth in expected goals allowed (xGA) since March 1.

Since Hellebuyck started last night, I wouldn’t be surprised to see David Rittich between the pipes. Rittich’s season has been as good as you can expect for a backup. He’s playing to a -1.2 Goals Saved Above Expected, with a .906 SV%.

Lightning Defense Struggling Without Hedman

Even though Tampa is currently going through some tough times, you can always count on the Lightning’s top guys. Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point (who scored two goals last night) and Steven Stamkos are all threats at any time. Stamkos did get hurt last night however, so it's worth keeping an eye on.

Star defenseman Victor Hedman's health is also a factor as the former Norris winner went down last week against Carolina and hasn’t played since. He’s listed as day-to-day.

Even with their lethal core, the Lightning’s ability to generate even-strength offense has dwindled. They place 18th in Expected Goals over the past six games, but their second-ranked power play will continue to be one of their strengths.

Tampa has felt the loss of Hedman in their defense. It’s currently last in xGA since the beginning of March, and the penalty kill has suffered. Not only that, but the Lightning have allowed four or more goals in seven out of their last eight games.

With Brian Elliott playing last night, Andrei Vasilevskiy will take the crease tonight. Vasilevskiy is going through a “down year,” which isn’t saying much since his numbers are still exceptional. He’s playing to a +17.0 GSAx and a .914 SV%.

Jets vs. Lightning Pick

The Jets are a solid team, but I have not liked what I have seen from them as of late. This is why I’m heading into this bout favoring Tampa. While the Lightning have floundered during this 10-game stretch, they’re still not to be taken lightly.

For one, the Jets just had a tough battle against the Panthers last night and are traveling on the second leg of a back-to-back. The Lightning had a fairly easy matchup with their backup netminder, only to have their Vezina-like netminder take the crease tonight.

Both these teams are playing similar hockey this month, but Tampa has the higher ceiling. I’m taking the Lightning in regulation.

Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning 60-Min Line (-130)

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