NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs. Golden Knights (October 20)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs. Golden Knights (October 20) article feature image

Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Eichel.

  • The Las Vegas Golden Knights host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.
  • Winnipeg will be playing the second half of a road back-to-back and may be primed for a letdown.
  • Tony Sartori previews the game and shares his best bet below.

Jets vs. Golden Knights Odds

Jets Odds+175
Golden Knights Odds-205
Over/Under7 (+110/-135)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

For Thursday's nightcap, we have a Western Conference tilt as the Pacific Division's Vegas Golden Knights host the Central Division's Winnipeg Jets. Last season, Winnipeg won all three of the meetings between these two clubs.

Will Winnipeg take care of business once again, or can the Golden Knights walk away with the victory as home favorites?

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Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets travel to Sin City on the second half of a road back-to-back, following an overtime victory against the Colorado Avalanche. After a big divisional road victory Wednesday, this game could be a letdown spot for Winnipeg.

Since the Jets are on the second half of a back-to-back, we can expect backup goaltender David Rittich to make his first start of the season for the Jets. Serving as Nashville's backup netminder for parts of last season, Rittich had a year to forget as he went 6-3-4 with a .886 SV% and 3.57 GAA.

Among starting goaltenders, he would have ranked second-to-last in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5v5. Through seven career starts against Vegas, Rittich is just 2-5 with a .872 SV% and 3.76 GAA.

In front of Rittich is a fade-worthy defense. Last season, they ranked 26th in the league in expected goals against (xGA) at 5v5.

This poor defense continued into this year as they rank 20th at 5v5 in xGA/60 (this ranking was prior to Wednesday night's game against Colorado as the new data is not yet available as of this writing). While the Jets are 1-1 on the road this season, traveling was an issue for Winnipeg last season as it went 16-17-8 when playing away from the Canada Life Centre.

Vegas Golden Knights

Starting the year off in good form, the Vegas Golden Knights enter this matchup 3-1 with their lone loss coming on the road against a very strong Calgary Flames team. The Golden Knights' metrics thus far are strong as they rank fifth in the league at 5v5 in xGF and 12th in xGA.

Projected to take the crease is 25-year-old Logan Thompson, who has looked sharp since taking over as the primary netminder. Through three starts this season, Thompson is 2-1 with a .938 SV% and 2.02 GAA.

Among starting goaltenders, he ranks seventh at 5v5 in GSAx/60. In a limited role last season, Thompson looked sharp as he posted a .914 SV% and 2.68 GAA through 18 appearances.

Additionally, Thompson would have ranked 12th among starting goaltenders at 5v5 in GSAx/60 if he would have qualified. After a disappointing campaign and missing the playoffs last year, this Vegas team is now fully healthy and the results have shown through the early parts of the season.

Jets vs. Golden Knights Pick

Assuming Winnipeg doesn't start Connor Hellebuyck on two consecutive nights, the Golden Knights should have the advantage in every aspect of this contest. They have the better offense, defense, goaltender, are on home ice and are more rested.

Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers missed Wednesday's game for an undisclosed reason and he is a big part of their top six. I like Vegas in this matchup regardless of whether he suits up, but if he can't go, that's another reason to like the Golden Knights.

If this line gets any higher than -170, then Vegas' 3-way moneyline should be looked at instead of laying more juice.

Pick: Vegas Golden Knights Moneyline (-170)

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