NHL Odds, Expert Pick & Prediction: Blue Jackets vs. Jets (December 2)

NHL Odds, Expert Pick & Prediction: Blue Jackets vs. Jets (December 2) article feature image

Pictured: Johnny Gaudreau. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • The Blue Jackets travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets as road underdogs.
  • The Jets are fresh off of a 5-0 win over the Avalanche, but is this a favorable spot to sell high on them?
  • Grant White breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Blue Jackets vs. Jets Odds

Blue Jackets Odds+190
Jets Odds-235
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

We have passed the quarter-mark of the NHL season, and the Winnipeg Jets are holding steady as one of the top teams in the Central Division. The Jets have the best points percentage in the division but sit three points out of the top spot as they have three games in hand over the first-place Dallas Stars.

Winnipeg can use Friday night's contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets to close the gap in the standings and move within one point of the division lead.

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Blue Jackets Due for Positive Regression

The Blue Jackets have been much less successful, compiling the second-fewest wins on the season. Consequently, their ineffective play has relegated them to the basement of the Metropolitan Division standings.

However, there are green sprouts in their current metrics which suggest that more wins should soon follow for the Jackets. That's validated by their season-long ratings, which imply they are progression candidates.

Columbus plays a conservative brand of hockey with an emphasis on solid defensive zone coverage. Over the past five games, no opponent has attempted more than nine High-Danger Chances, with two of the last three being limited to four or fewer.

More impressively, the Blue Jackets have amplified their scoring metrics, out-chancing their opponents in three straight. That has tilted the Expected Goals-For ratings toward Columbus, with the team posting a 58.0% benchmark over the three-game sample.

Despite the improved play, wins have been hard to come by for the Blue Jackets. Columbus has dropped three straight while playing some of its best hockey of the season. That's analogous to their season-long metrics, with the Jackets operating well below their Expected Goals-For rating of 45.5%, accumulating a 39.8% mark.

In reconciling their recent outcomes with their current form, it's evident that the Blue Jackets are due for more wins. Keep the Blue Jackets in mind as progression candidates over their coming games, as actual metrics start to balance with expected.

Jets Entering Correction Phase?

Unfortunately for Winnipeg, the Jets sit on the opposite end of the progression/regression spectrum. Their early season success has made them the envy of the NHL, but they are paying for wins with next season's metrics.

The Jets sit in the bottom half of the league in most relative metrics, implying they are getting outplayed on a nightly basis. Winnipeg ranks 20th in Corsi rating, 22nd in High-Danger Chance Ratio, and 23rd in Shots-For percentage, culminating with the 10th-worst Expected Goals-For rating. Those metrics have fallen over the Jets' past few games, but they won all three contests, putting them on an unavoidable path with regression.

Winnipeg has been thoroughly outplayed over its last few outings, posting a cumulative 42.2% Expected Goals-For rating since November 25. The Jets have failed to out-chance their opponents in scoring or High-Danger opportunities in all three contests, with 38.2% High-Danger and 45.7% Scoring Chance ratings over the three-game sample. Although the metrics are working against them, the Jets have outscored their opponents 13-2 at five-on-five over that stretch.

The Jets have one of the most inflated PDOs in the NHL, and that's climbed substantially over the past week. Winnipeg is operating at a 1.154 mark in winning their last three, elevating their season-long rating to 1.024.

But the Jets can't continue to get outplayed and win games. Moreover, they are trending down and have struck an unsustainable balance between on-ice product and winning games, suggesting they should soon enter a correction phase.

Blue Jackets vs. Jets Pick

The Jets are due for regression, and Friday's tilt against the Blue Jackets sets up as a classic flat spot after a triumphant 5-0 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche last time out.

Further, we've highlighted the Blue Jackets as progression candidates, as they are operating substantially below their expected values over their recent schedule. We're playing the live underdogs in this matchup, giving the edge to the Blue Jackets in Friday night's inter-conference battle.

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