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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Oilers vs. Jets

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Oilers vs. Jets article feature image

Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Pierre-Luc Dubois

  • The Jets face the Oilers for the second time in as many nights Saturday.
  • Edmonton won Friday night's game, but will anything be different in the rematch?
  • Ryan Dadoun answers that question as he breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Oilers vs. Jets Odds

Oilers Odds -128
Jets Odds +106
Over/Under 7 (+114/-140)
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

With the trade deadline past, the Oilers and Jets can fully shift their attention to their shared battle in the Western Conference wild card race. Edmonton claimed a 6-3 victory Friday in the first half of this two-game series, but with these teams still neck-and-neck in the standings, will Winnipeg get revenge Saturday?

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Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton’s big trade came Tuesday when it acquired Mattias Ekholm from Nashville. The 32-year-old defenseman made his Oilers debut Wednesday, contributing an assist in a 5-2 victory over Toronto. He played on the second pairing, as well as in the second power-play unit, and is a nice addition to the Oilers’ defensive core.

Even still, the blueline isn’t where Edmonton’s strength lies. Going into Friday’s action, Edmonton had the top-ranked offense with 3.82 goals per game. That offensive strength is fueled by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who rank first and second in the league’s scoring race.

In past years, the Oilers’ lacked scoring depth behind them, but that’s not the case in 2022-23, thanks in part to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman, who each have over 70 points. To give that some perspective, there were 19 players in the league with at least 70 points before Friday’s games, and four of them play for Edmonton.

The Oilers aren’t completely devoid of scoring threats beyond those four either, as the Jets found out Friday. Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins each provided a pair of goals, but Edmonton also got two markers from Kailer Yamamoto.

McDavid also had three assists Friday, bringing him up to an insane 10 goals and 24 points over his past nine games. No one has been able to stop him lately and the Jets were no different, but Winnipeg needs to find a way to do better Saturday.

One upside for Winnipeg is Jack Campbell is projected to start Saturday after Stuart Skinner was in net Friday. Campbell has struggled all season and is 0-0-3 with a 4.91 GAA and an .846 save percentage over his past four outings.

Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg’s best player is arguably goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, but he stopped just 20 of 24 shots over two periods before being replaced by David Rittich for the third period. However, because Hellebuyck didn’t play the full game Friday, perhaps the Jets will start him again Saturday.

Even if he was less than ideal Friday, Hellebuyck still has a 26-19-2 record, a 2.57 GAA and a .920 save percentage in 42 contests this season. He’s still the same goaltender who turned aside 31 of 32 shots in a 2-1 win over Edmonton on Dec. 31.

Perhaps Hellebuyck will get redemption Saturday. Even on no rest, he should have the edge over Campbell given how their respective seasons have gone.

The Jets will likely need a strong game out of Hellebuyck because their offense doesn’t measure up to Edmonton’s. Winnipeg has a decent forward core of Kyle Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mark Scheifele — who each have over 20 goals and 50 points this season — but it’s a little worse right now because Dubois is dealing with a lower-body injury and has missed Winnipeg’s past two games.

Winnipeg acquired Nino Niederreiter from Nashville on Feb. 25. Niederreiter is a solid complimentary forward with 18 goals and 29 points in 58 games this season, including an assist Friday. Now that he’s had two contests to settle in with Winnipeg, perhaps he’ll score his first goal since the trade on Saturday.

Oilers vs. Jets Pick

Although the Oilers only have a slight of edge over the Jets in the standings, oddsmakers see Edmonton as significant favorites. That’s particularly interesting because Saturday’s game is in Winnipeg, where the Jets are 20-10-1.

Perhaps the odds have been skewed in Edmonton’s favor because the Jets have been struggling, losing five straight games and seven of their past eight. Still, Winnipeg is a fundamentally solid team.

The Jets may have lost Friday, but with the series heading to Winnipeg and the Jets hungry for revenge, I think taking advantage of the higher potential payout by selecting the underdog is a good play.

Pick: Jets Moneyline | Play to +110

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