NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Jets vs. Stars (October 17)
Glenn James/Getty. Pictured: Tyler Seguin.
Jets vs. Stars Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Will the Stars take care of business once again, or can the Jets grab the victory as a short road underdog?
Jets Posting Strong Defensive Numbers
The Jets started the season 1-0 after a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers. In that game, their defense did an excellent job shutting down a talented New York lineup as they surrendered just 2.26 expected goals against (xGA) in 5v5 time.
Backing up this strong defensive effort was the terrific goaltending of veteran netminder Connor Hellebuyck, who is projected to get the start in this contest. Against the Rangers, he stopped 40 of the 41 shots he faced for an excellent .976 SV%.
While the majority of those shots were away from the high-danger areas, he still saved 1.81 goals above expected. This good outing was a continuation of last year's strong campaign by Hellebuyck.
Last season, he ranked 11th among starting goaltenders in 5v5 goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60). For the year, he went 29-27-10 with a .910 SV% and 2.97 GAA.
While he often had to bail his team out, Winnipeg should be a lot more defensively sound this season thanks to the coaching change. Rick Bowness, who came over from Dallas during the offseason, is looking to change the identity of this team.
Bowness is a defensive-minded coach and was a big part of Dallas’ success last year, particularly in regard to the blue line. At 5v5, the Stars ranked in the top half of the league in both GA and xGA.
His defensive-orientated systems led to a lot of low-scoring games as the O/U went 34-44 for Dallas last year. While Winnipeg boasts some talent in the top six of their forward group, their depth should be a major concern.
Like last year, the bulk of the scoring will likely come from the top six guys, which is problematic against strong defensive teams.
Stars Another Stingy Side
On the other side of the ice, we can expect Jake Oettinger to take the crease for the Dallas Stars. Through the first two games of the season, Oettinger is 2-0 with a .968 SV% and 1.00 GAA.
Oettinger has picked up right where he left off in last season's playoffs when he stood on his head against a tremendous Calgary offense. Last year, he finished at 30-15-1 with a .914 SV% and 2.53 GAA.
Across his two career starts against the Jets, Oettinger is 2-0 with a .911 SV% and 2.42 GAA. As mentioned above, Rick Bowness orchestrated a great defensive system last year in Dallas, and while he is now in Winnipeg, I still trust this defensive corps under new head coach Peter DeBoer.
Through the first two games of the season, the Stars rank ninth in the league in 5v5 xGA/60. Because of their stingy defensive play and excellent goaltending, the under has hit in both of their first two games.
Jets vs. Stars Pick
Across the three games that these two teams have combined to play this season, there have been six or fewer goals scored in all of them. We should expect that trend to continue in this matchup.
Oettinger is starting to cement the fact that he was not a one-hit-wonder last year while Hellebuyck has consistently been a top-tier goalie since entering the league in 2015. The coaching matchup is one that should contribute to a lower-scoring affair as both Rick Bowness and Peter DeBoer are traditionally defensive-minded.
The last time these two goaltenders squared off against each other, the Stars won 3-2 in overtime. I am laying some extra juice to take this total at 6.5, although I think the under at six is also a good play as I would not lay anything more than -135 at 6.5.
Pick: Under 6.5 (-135)