NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs Islanders (Saturday, March 23)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs Islanders (Saturday, March 23) article feature image

(Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images) Pictured: Bo Horvat (left) and Noah Dobson (right).

Jets vs. Islanders Odds

Saturday, March 23
1 p.m. ET
Jets Odds-135
Islanders Odds+115
Over / Under
-110 / -110
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Winnipeg Jets vs. New York Islanders on Saturday, March 23 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

As they continue their road trip through the Tri-state area, the Jets are battling against the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars for first place and preferred playoff positioning in the Central Division.

Meanwhile, the Islanders are back at UBS Arena and looking to right the ship after collecting just one point in their last six games. But despite the rough patch, a wild-card berth is still within sight.

The top defensive team in the league, the Jets sprung a bit of a leak in New Jersey on Thursday. That leaves them vulnerable as the increasingly desperate Islanders look to keep their playoff hopes alive in front of their home fans.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are working their way through a five-game road trip that began with convincing wins over the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers. Then, on Thursday, they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Devils, with backup Laurent Brossoit in net.

It was a dominant win for the Devils, who held a 41-19 edge in shots and went 3-for-4 on the power play. Winnipeg's penalty killing has been pretty decent lately but is still ranked a disappointing 25th in the league, with a success rate of just 76.6%.

Connor Hellebuyck is set to start in goal against the Islanders — and he's a formidable challenge for any opponent. Carrying one of the heaviest workloads in the league, the 30-year-0ld boasts a .920 save percentage that ranks among the best of his career, and a league-leading 30.6 goals saved above expected which is more than 10 better than second-place Thatcher Demko.

Winnipeg is allowing the fewest goals per game in the league this season and has been a good puck-possession team at 5-on-5. Over the last 10 games, the Jets have been even better, controlling 53.09% of expected goals.

Sean Monahan has been a nice addition in the second-line center spot and had five points in three games before being held off the scoreboard in New Jersey. He's skating on a line with his one-time Calgary Flames teammate Tyler Toffoli, who has been chipping in a point a game since arriving in Winnipeg.

That's needed because the Jets can sometimes slip into offensive funks like they did Thursday.

New York Islanders

After winning six straight to pull themselves back into playoff contention, the Islanders come into Saturday's game after six straight losses, with just one overtime point to show for their efforts. The streak started with two shutout losses, but even though the goals have started to come back, the real problem has been on the defensive side of the puck, where Patrick Roy's team has given up 26 goals in those six games.

Ilya Sorokin took five of those losses. And even though his save percentage is at a respectable .907, his goals-against average has ballooned to 3.07. Even more uncharacteristically, he's at minus-4.1 goals saved above expected.

The Islanders are going into a back-to-back set, also hosting New Jersey on Sunday, so Semyon Varlamov is set to get the nod against Winnipeg. He's 7-7-4 for the year and has a .910 save percentage, with 2.2 goals saved above expected.

With a -26 goal differential for the season and a league-worst penalty kill that hits at just 71.7%, it's a bit surprising that the Islanders are in the playoff picture at all. During their winning streak, they were getting good offensive production and their power play was clicking. That hasn't been the case over the last six games.

Jets vs. Islanders

Betting Pick & Prediction

When these two teams met in Winnipeg back on Jan. 16, the Jets took a 4-2 win and outshot their opponents 44-37. The Islanders were on a back-to-back following road losses in Nashville and Minnesota — and four days later, coach Lane Lambert had been replaced by Patrick Roy behind the bench.

The team was four games above .500 under Lambert, but the recent cold streak has left them at 10-10-4 since Roy took the reins.

But every streak comes to an end eventually, and the Islanders have been much better at home than on the road. If the tired Jets deliver another listless outing like they did in the Garden State, that could be the recipe for Roy's boys to bump their slump and renew their push for that elusive wild-card berth.

Plus money for the home side makes for an enticing betting opportunity.

Pick: Islanders Moneyline (+112 at FanDuel | Play down to +100)

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