Jets vs Stars Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction

Jets vs Stars Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction article feature image

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images) Pictured: Mark Scheifele

Jets vs. Stars Odds

Thursday, Feb. 29
8 p.m. ET
Jets Odds+114
Stars Odds-135
Over / Under
-105 / -115
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Winnipeg Jets vs. Dallas Stars on Thursday, February 29 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

The Stars and Jets are locked in a battle for the Central Division title, but while Dallas has faltered recently, Winnipeg has claimed seven of its past eight games.

Let's examine if those recent trends are likely to continue as we preview the upcoming contest and offer a Jets vs. Stars prediction.

Winnipeg Jets

Conversations about the Jets often start with Connor Hellebuyck. The 30-year-old goaltender won the Vezina Trophy in 2020 and might reclaim it this year given his 28-11-3 record, 2.21 GAA and .925 save percentage through 42 starts.

Winnipeg's xGA/60 ranks ninth at 2.96, which suggests the Jets have done a good job of supporting their star netminder. Still, it's fair to give Hellebuyck a lot of the credit for their league-best 2.35 goals allowed per game.

By extension, he's the main reason why Winnipeg has a dominant 37-15-5 record. Sure, Winnipeg has a good core forward group consisting of Mark Scheifele (17 goals, 52 points), Kyle Connor (24 goals, 41 points) and Nikolaj Ehlers (18 goals, 41 points), which the Jets bolstered by acquiring Sean Monahan, who has six goals and seven points in nine outings with Winnipeg.

The squad also features a superb offensive defenseman in Josh Morrissey (seven goals, 46 points). However, that group hasn't elevated the Jets offense above mediocrity as they rank 18th with 3.09 goals per game.

While those skaters are great, they're not exceptional. Scheifele leads the team in scoring, but is in a five-way tie for 48th. The Jets also have six players with at least 30 points, which at this point is exactly average. It's good enough for Winnipeg's strong defense and elite goaltending to carry the Jets the rest of the way on most nights, but adequate is about all it is, which is in stark contrast to their adversaries tonight.

Dallas Stars

The name aside, the Stars don't outshine the Jets in terms of raw star power. Jason Robertson (19 goals, 58 points), Roope Hintz (23 goals, 50 points) and Joe Pavelski (20 goals, 49 points) comprise a top line that's strong, but not vastly superior to Winnipeg.

However, Dallas is not a one-line team. Matt Duchene (23 goals, 56 points) and Mason Marchment (18 goals, 46 points) are headlining a second unit that's just as dangerous as Dallas' first. Meanwhile, Wyatt Johnston (19 goals, 42 points) and Jamie Benn (nine goals, 34 points) are serious threats on the third line. And that doesn't even factor in Tyler Seguin, who is out with a lower-body injury.

Dallas has 10 players with at least 30 points (Winnipeg has six), including four skaters who have supplied a minimum of 20 goals (Winnipeg has one). The Stars rank sixth offensively with 3.54 goals per game.

Where the Stars have been lacking, though, is goaltending. A year ago, Jake Oettinger vs. Hellebuyck would have been a clash of titans, but this season, the Stars netminder has struggled, posting a 21-11-4 record, a 2.98 GAA and a .901 save percentage in 37 outings. He's showing no signs of rebounding either, allowing at least three goals in four of his past five appearances, including a 5-1 loss to Colorado on Tuesday.

That's created a situation where Dallas needs its amazing offense to carry the load, but recently it hasn't showed up. Dallas has averaged just 1.86 goals per contest over its past seven games, which coupled with Oettinger's struggles, has resulted in a 1-3-3- record.

Dallas will get more defensive help soon with the acquisition of blueliner Chris Tanev from Calgary on Wednesday. However, Tanev isn't expected to make his Stars debut tonight. If Oettinger is to succeed tonight, he'll have to help himself.

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Jets vs. Stars

Betting Pick & Prediction

In some respects, this is a prototypical scoring versus goaltending matchup, and the offensive team is favored. Perhaps that's partially because the game is being played in Dallas, but there might not be much of a home-ice advantage. The Stars are a strong 17-8-4 in Dallas, but the Jets have a 16-8-3 road record.

These are two equally great teams, but I'd rather bet on the hot hand in Winnipeg. The fact that taking the Jets comes with a bigger potential payout makes me feel all the better about this prediction.

Pick: Winnipeg Jets Moneyline (+112  at FanDuel) | Play to +100

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