NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blues vs. Jets (January 30)
Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Connor #81 of the Winnipeg Jets.
- The Jets host the Blues in the the lone game on Monday night's NHL slate.
- Winnipeg has won the first two game between these teams this season. Can the Jets go 3-0?
- Carol Schram digs into the matchup and offers up her best bet below.
Blues vs. Jets Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
A pair of struggling Central Division teams will get their chance to head into the All-Star Break on a winning note. In the only game on the NHL schedule, the Winnipeg Jets host the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
Losers of their past three, the Jets are coming off a 4-0 home loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night that left head coach Rick Bowness reading the riot act to his team. Fourteen points lower in the league standings, the Blues have lost four straight and are looking like potential sellers ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.
Here’s the latest on the Jets and the Blues, and your best bet for Monday’s game.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues are one of the NHL’s streakiest teams and right now, they’re going through a rough patch. They’ve lost six of their past eight, including four straight. St. Louis has given up at least four goals in all six of those losses and has scored more than three just once in those eight games.
Fundamentally, the Blues aren’t playing great hockey. They rank 26th in expected goals at 5-on-5 and although workhorse starter Jordan Binnington has a winning record at 18-17-3, his .891 save percentage and minus-10 goals saved above expected are reasons for concern.
Offensively, the Blues are missing some key forwards due to injury. Ryan O’Reilly and Pavel Buchnevich are out until after the All-Star Break, and second-leading scorer Robert Thomas missed Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche due to a lower-body issue. It’s likely he’ll also miss Monday’s game.
The Jets have rediscovered their identity under Bowness, but they got an earful from their coach after their Saturday loss to the Flyers. However, they did outshoot Philadelphia 40-33 and matched their opponent in high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5.
The Jets are tied for second in the Western Conference standings, but their expected goals ratio for the year at 5-on-5 is not as high as you might expect. WInnipeg is ranked 22nd at 49.71%. The Jets special teams are a strength, as is goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who has 23 wins in his league-leading 39 starts. He also has 21.7 goals saved above expected, the fourth-most in the league.
After going through a tough stretch with injuries earlier this season, the Jets are now reasonably healthy, but their offense has been streaky over the past seven games. The Jets scored five goals in each of their recent wins — over the Flyers on Jan. 22 and the Senators one day before — but have just five total goals over five losses since Jan. 17.
Blues vs. Jets Pick
Bad luck has been a factor in the recent slumps for both these teams. PDO is a stat that combines a team’s save percentage and shooting percentage, offering an indication of whether a team is getting its usual bounces.
A PDO of 1.000 is average, but since Jan. 17, the Blues have endured an NHL-worst PDO of just .925. The situation hasn’t been much better for the Jets, who sit 27th at .963.
Both squads are due to get some bounces — but can the Blues get enough to overcome their serious underdog status in this matchup?
It seems unlikely.
On top of being the stronger squad, Winnipeg is 2-0-0 in the season series, healthier and has home-ice. The Jets are also less likely to slip into long losing streaks as they’ve only lost three in a row one other time this season. Meanwhile, St. Louis has lost four or more on three occasions, including an eight-game slide earlier this year.
The over-under in this game is a virtual pick ’em, so your best bet Monday is to look for the Jets to dispatch the Blues and head into the break on a high note.
As of Sunday afternoon, FanDuel is offering a reasonable -130 for a Jets win within 60 minutes. If you’re feeling even braver, consider the puck line at +116.
Pick: Jets in regulation (-130) | Play down to -140
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