NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs. Capitals (Jan. 18)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Evgeny Kuznetsov
Jets vs. Capitals Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
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The Capitals continue to scuffle through a tough run of play, having fallen for the fifth time in six contests Sunday against Vancouver, allowing a notably high 3.83 goals against per game over that span.
The Caps will have no easy task looking to clean up that defensive play against a Winnipeg Jets team offering a formidable group of in-form forwards.
The Jets Should Trend Up
Winnipeg comes into the game sitting outside a playoff berth in the Western Conference, but I still think this team has a good chance of getting into the tournament when you look at the teams they are trying to chase down. Additionally, the Jets have responded well to their new head coach, Dave Lowry.
The Jets are 4-2 with a 52% expected goals rate under the new head coach and when you consider that span included games against Colorado and Vegas, it becomes even more impressive.
Winnipeg’s got a talented group of forwards and that group seems to have responded well to the coaching swap as the Jets are creating 2.92 expected goals per 60 minutes under Lowry. It bodes quite well if these numbers continue for the Jets because they have a wealth of finishing talent, so they shouldn’t underperform their xG.
Connor Hellebuyck will get the start here, looking to build on another strong season, with a +13.6 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) and a .916 save percentage (SV%) throughout 28 games played so far.
The Caps Are Struggling
The Capitals recent 1-3-2 stretch has certainly looked concerning, with some extreme breakdowns on defense and some shaky goaltending. The Caps are also just creating 49.5% of the expected goals in that span, which is lower than where they’ve been for most of the season.
This core has consistently been one of the highest-scoring units in the NHL, so there’s no reason to believe they won’t get their act back together and play like the team that ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game (3.26).
Winnipeg is a good spot for this offense to find its form, too, as the Jets are not noted for their stingy defensive play in front of Hellbuyck.
Vitek Vanecek will likely be the starter after he posted a 23-save shutout against the Islanders on Saturday, but there really is no major difference between Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov in their current form.
Vanecek has skated to a -2.3 GSAx with a .911 SV% throughout 18 games played this season.
Jets vs. Capitals Pick
Washington’s last seven home games have averaged seven goals, with the over going 4-1-2 or 6-1 depending on whether or not you got an early number of 5.5.
It’s fair to expect the Capitals to produce as a top-10 offense all season and the Jets should improve on their mark (currently 16th overall in goals per game) as the season goes on.
And while Washington’s overall defensive play has been solid, it’s clear they’re scuffling at the moment and their goaltending is suspect, which should give the Jets an opportunity to post a crooked number on Tuesday night.
The early markets had this Over/Under set at 5.5 but that didn’t last long. I still think there’s plenty of value on the Over at the listed odds, however, and would play Over 6 to -125.
Pick: Over 6 (-125 or better)