Jets vs. Predators Odds, Picks | NHL Betting Preview & Prediction (Saturday, March 18)
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Adam Lowry #17 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates with Nate Schmidt #88
Jets vs. Predators Odds
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Winnipeg Jets has lost nine of its past 12 contests and is in the midst a potentially monumental collapse in the Western Conference playoff race.
At the other end of the spectrum are the Nashville Predators, who sold away key assets at the deadline and are suffering through crucial injuries, yet have still managed a surprising 8-3-1 tear up the standings.
Winnipeg is priced at -144 to win in this massive clash versus the rival Predators.
Despite sporting a modest 2-3-0 record over its past five games, it would be fair to say Winnipeg’s play is stabilizing and things could perhaps be on the up and up.
Winnipeg suffered an extremely unlucky result in a 4-2 home loss to the Wild, before playing three games in four nights on the road versus the Panthers, Lightning and Hurricanes.
The Jets managed to claim victories in Florida and Tampa on back-to-back days before suffering a loss in Carolina, where the entire NHL has struggled mightily.
Winnipeg then fell at home to the historically strong Boston Bruins, who were fresh off of an embarrassing loss to the Blackhawks.
The signs of life have been there for coach Rick Bowness’ Jets team, a side that was considered a trendy long-shot pick to win the cup roughly a month ago.
Deadline pickup Nino Niederreiter will make his return to Nashville in this matchup. He’s been quite a force for the Jets, despite the team’s underwhelming results since his addition.
Niederreiter has skated mainly on the top unit, alongside Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor, and generated four goals and seven points in nine games with the Jets.
At even strength, the trio has played to a steady 50.7% xGF rating. However, they’ve also been skating in tough matchups due to the Jets’ recent strength of schedule.
Connor Hellebuyck’s mediocre recent play has been a surprising part of the Jets struggles. There are concerns he’s been overworked this season, which could be the cause of his struggles.
No one really knows whether that is true and Hellebuyck will likely start again Saturday, looking to improve upon his +24.8 GSAx and .918 save percentage in 52 appearances.
While Winnipeg has suffered through an underachieving record in March, Nashville has surprised with an 8-2-1 upswing.
That mark is extremely surprising considering top forwards Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen are sidelined, and Mattias Ekholm and Niederreiter were shipped off at the deadline.
Fillins such as Thomas Novak and Luke Evangelista have thrived in larger roles, but a large part of Nashville’s success has been taking advantage of an alarmingly soft schedule patch.
Juuse Saros continued his tremendous play in goal has been a massive factor. Saros, who should start Saturday, has played to a +32.8 GSAx and a .917 save percentage through 51 games.
Jets vs. Predators Pick
This is an excellent get right spot for the Jets — who are in some of the worst form they’ve been all season — against a Predators team that has overachieved by some margin lately.
Winnipeg has produced far worse results than Nashville since the trade deadline, which is shocking because the Jets were buyers at the deadline and looking to contend while the Predators were sellers and are missing some key stars.
The Predators have cleaned up a lot of close wins versus weaker competition, while the Jets have struggled versus an extremely tough slate of opponents.
Those results are likely hiding the true gap in active roster talent between these sides. I believe -140 is a very playable price with the road favorite Jets.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets Moneyline
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