Penguins vs. Jets Odds & Prediction | NHL Betting Preview (November 19)
Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby
- The Jets have been one of the NHL's surprise successes this season, and they host the Penguins on Saturday.
- After a recent skid, Pittsburgh now appears to be trending in the right direction.
- Below, Nicholas Martin offers his best bet for the game.
Penguins vs. Jets Odds
|6.5 (-104 / -118)
|7 p.m. ET
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.
Winnipeg has been one of the NHL's best teams to this point, and the Jets will host Pittsburgh on Saturday in the midst of an 8-1-1 tear.
The Jets has been even better on home ice, where they own a 6-1-0 record, yet are still priced as underdogs in this spot versus the perennially dominant Penguins.
Are oddsmakers right to still view Winnipeg as underdogs at home?
Skid a Distant Memory for Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins seem to have stabilized after a very surprising seven-game losing skid, which seemed to come very out of the blue for a veteran roster that began the season in strong form.
Since that skid, Pittsburgh is 3-1-1 and seems to be finding better form, as you would expect with the talent its roster still holds.
The Penguins own a 57.08% expected goals rating in those matchups, which is not surprising as to the eye a number of key contributors have trended into better form.
Led by Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh's top three forward units still look plenty deep and offer up a handful to keep in check.
Defensively Pittsburgh has not been as sharp as it was in the past three seasons, but room for growth in that aspect still seems to be there considering the bodies on hand.
Tristan Jarry has been confirmed as Pittsburgh's starting goaltender for this game. Jarry has struggled mightily to a -5.8 goals saved above expected rating and .895 save % in 10 appearances this season, but we should not expect such notable struggles to continue moving forward.
Deceiving Success for Winnipeg Jets?
Many expected a bounce-back this season from the Jets under new coach Rick Bowness, but few would have counted on a 10-4-1 start from a side that on paper does still hold some flaws.
Winnipeg has even begun to play to considerably better underlying results; in the month of November, the Jets own a 60.10% expected goals for rating and have played to a 5-1-0 record.
However, the Jets have played a very easy slate of competition in that time, and still had two less-than-impressive three-on-three victories, as well as a close 3-2 victory over the NHL's worst side Thursday at home in the Anaheim Ducks.
Winnipeg still does not appear to be a side likely to tilt the ice at five-on-five this season, but it will have a great chance to prove me wrong tonight against a Penguins side that is skating considerably more talent on paper.
Connor Hellebuyck has been unreal to start the season, which is surprising as the Jets has been sharper defensively and he is simply one of the best goaltenders alive.
Hellebuyck owns a +11.1 GSAx rating with a .935 save %, and should be given a chance to build his early case for the Vezina Trophy Saturday.
Penguins vs. Jets Pick
The Penguins will have to cover for a considerable disparity in goal with Jarry against Hellebuyck, but I believe it's still likely Pittsburgh keep things moving in the right direction with a victory.
Pittsburgh holds a considerably deeper roster than the Jets and should be able to control more of the play at five-on-five in this matchup.
Over the last handful of games, we have seen the Penguins begin to look more true to form, and on paper, this roster dictates that if anything this is far from top form.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the Winnipeg Jets, who have come flying out of the gates but appear to be a much more logical regression candidate, and I believe we could be looking at somewhat of a high water mark for the team.
Come completion of 82 games, I still believe the Penguins will have effectively proven to be the considerably better side out of these two, and I believe that in turn today's closer betting lines provide us some value with Pittsburgh.
At -122 I like a play on the Penguins to win this contest, and I would back Pittsburgh down to a price of -130.
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