NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bruins vs. Jets (March 16)
AP Photo. Pictured: Jeremy Swayman, Linus Ullmark.
- The Jets host the Bruins in what's expected to be an enticing Thursday night NHL contest.
- Boston has dominated this series recently, and our expert is expecting more of the same tonight.
- Continue reading for Tony Sartori's best bet.
Bruins vs. Jets Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Central Division’s Winnipeg Jets host the Atlantic Division’s Boston Bruins in what should be an exciting contest on Thursday evening.
Boston has dominated this matchup in recent years and won each of the past five meetings between these clubs.
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as my Bruins vs. Jets pick.
The Boston Bruins enter this matchup in unfamiliar territory after dropping consecutive games. Their 50-11-5 record is still on pace for one of the best regular seasons in league history, a result of Boston’s brilliant all-around play.
At 5-on-5, the Bruins rank 10th in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and third in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). Not only does Boston dominate at even-strength, but its special teams also deserve credit as it ranks eighth in the league in power play goals for and first in penalty kill goals against.
Backing up this tremendous two-way lineup is Linus Ullmark, who is having a record-breaking season and is the Vezina Trophy favorite. Through 41 appearances, Ullmark is 33-5-1 with a .935 save percentage (SV%) and a 1.97 goals against average (GAA).
Based on his underlying metrics, regression is unlikely. Among starting goaltenders, Ullmark unsurprisingly ranks first in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.
This stellar play is likely to continue against the Winnipeg Jets. Through two career starts against the Jets, Ullmark is 2-0 with a .945 SV% and a 2.00 GAA.
Winnipeg enters this contest in poor form and has dropped 10 of its past 14 games. The Jets are a solid team and will likely turn things back around, but that’s unlikely to occur against the mighty Bruins.
The good news is Winnipeg is solid in almost every aspect of the game, which will help cultivate that turnaround. The bad news is the Jets are worse than Boston in almost every aspect of the game, which does not bode well for Thursday night’s tilt.
At 5-on-5, the Jets rank two spots lower than the Bruins in xGF/60 and 17 spots lower in xGA/60. Their special teams also lag behind Boston’s, ranking 19 spots lower in power play goals for and four spots lower in penalty kill goals against.
Even Winnipeg’s most valuable asset, goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, lags behind Ullmark. This season, Hellebuyck possesses a lower SV%, GAA and ranks lower in GSAx/60 at 5-on-5.
Through nine career starts against the Bruins, Hellebuyck is 3-5-1 with a .911 SV% and a 3.06 GAA.
Bruins vs. Jets Pick
Boston possesses the better offense, defense, goaltender and special teams. The only advantage Winnipeg possesses is home ice, which is why the Bruins are as cheap as -165 on the moneyline.
Normally, -165 is a bit too much juice for my liking, but in this instance, it is worth the squeeze. Not only is Boston better than the Jets across the board, but it is going to come into this contest especially pissed off after dropping back-to-back games to the lowly Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.
The loss to Chicago was especially embarrassing considering the Hawks are tanking for Connor Bedard and feature a lineup filled primarily with AHL players. I expect the Bruins to take that loss personally and come out strong against Winnipeg, a team they have beaten in each of the past five meetings.
Pick: Bruins Moneyline | Play to -175
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