NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs. Blackhawks (March 20)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs. Blackhawks (March 20) article feature image

Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

Jets vs. Blackhawks Odds

Jets Odds-135
Blackhawks Odds+110
Over/Under6 (-105 / -115)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Winnipeg Jets head to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks in Sunday's NHL action. It will be the third time these teams face off, as both have secured a win over the season.

Winnipeg comes in as the favorite at -135, while the hometown Blackhawks are the underdog at +110 odds.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Jets do heading into the trade deadline. Winnipeg has done a fine job in its last 10 games, going 6-3-1 and sitting not far off from the final playoff spot.

Chicago is in full sell mode after trading a key piece in Brandon Hagel and playing below average hockey of late. The Blackhawks have gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, including Saturday’s loss to the Minnesota Wild.

Winnipeg Jets

Heading into the season, many thought Winnipeg would be one of the top teams due to its depth. Kyle Connor is having a career season; Pierre-Luc Dubois is having a resurgence; and, while Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler aren’t performing up to their usual standards, they’re still critical pieces.

The Jets are the classic case of an underachieving team given the top talent up front. They score about three goals per game and sit 19th in expected goals with a 48.87 xGF%. Winnipeg is decent at creating high danger chances, but is an exceptional team on the power play scoring at a 21.8% clip.

It’s awfully confusing seeing how poor the defense is for the Jets, considering their talent. They let up a little more than three goals per game and the third-most high danger chances. Even on the penalty kill, they’re below average with a 76.5% success rate.

Connor Hellebuyck is one of the premier goaltenders in the league and there’s a good chance he plays. The former Vezina Trophy winner is posting a .909 SV% as well as a +7.6 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected). Backup Eric Comrie has done a fine job in limited relief, but Hellebuyck has played 90% of the games so far this season, so expect Hellebuyck to start.

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Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are just ready for this season to be over and done with at this point. With the drama off the ice and the poor play on it, it’s time to look forward. After trading Hagel, they only have Patrick Kane and Alex Debrincat to rely on. Guys like Seth Jones and Dylan Strome have performed well also, but it hasn’t been enough.

On the offensive end, Chicago has really struggled. Sure, the team has elite talent like Kane and Debrincat, but the rest are far behind the curve. The Blackhawks average 2.63 goals per game, which is far behind the average. They also have a hard time generating offense, as they’re 27th in xG with a 45.99 xGF. One bright spot is their power play, as they score 20.1% of the time.

Defensively, they’re not as bad as you’d think, averaging the ninth-most goals against (3.41) and the fifth-least high danger chances. The penalty kill could be better, however, as they only have a 76.1% success rate.

Given the major struggles Chicago has endured, the goaltending has been just as much as a problem. Many thought acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury would help, but he hasn’t proved to be much of a difference maker.

The future Hall of Famer is posting a .909 SV%, but a lowly -15.7 GSAx. Backup Kevin Lankinen has been just as bad, if not worse, with an .889 SV% and a -17.9 GSAx. I would monitor who starts, but if I were to venture a guess, it would be Fleury.

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Jets vs. Blackhawks Pick

Winnipeg has proved it can win games on the road, as it's 12-12-8 and Chicago is below .500 on home ice.

The Jets might have underachieved all season, but I firmly believe in their talent compared to how poor Chicago has been. Chicago’s offense has really struggled to gain traction and it hurts even more now that it traded Hagel.

Top it all off with Winnipeg’s exceptional goaltending and ability to put the puck in the net, and it adds up to be a good win for the Jets.

Pick: Winnipeg ML (-135)

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