Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Dallas Stars vs. Winnipeg Jets Betting Preview
Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jason Robertson #21 celebrates with Joe Pavelski #16 and Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars
- The Winnipeg Jets host the Dallas Stars in Friday's NHL Central Division showdown.
- The Stars soared past the Jets in two overtime wins in February, so can the latter get revenge on home ice?
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup below and gives his top pick.
Stars vs. Jets Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
An 8-3-1 stretch has surged the Dallas Stars’ playoff hopes, giving them a 63.7% chance of making the playoffs, per MoneyPuck. The No. 3 seed in the Central is even somewhat of a target now.
The hot stretch has included two wins over the Winnipeg Jets, however both were very close contests ending in overtime wins for the Stars.
Can Winnipeg find a way to fare better here on home ice?
Dallas Stars Soaring
Dallas enters this one off of a very impressive performance last time out — a massive 4-3 home victory against a Kings club that has been in tremendous form.
The Stars generated 43 shots on goal and won the expected goals battle 4.76 to 2.83. That’s certainly an eye-opening number looking at how the Kings have fared lately with regards to expected goals rate and shot suppression.
Over the Stars’ 8-3-1 tear, they have controlled play to a 55.31 expected goals rate, posting some really strong performances overall. Even when the play hasn’t been so dominant, Jake Oettinger has been tremendous in goal.
The Stars have started to see more pieces moving the needle offensively of late, and the ensuing results have unsurprisingly been far more positive for a team that has widely been carried by the top trio of Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski, as well as a strong power play.
That top line was kept somewhat under wraps against Los Angeles, which feature two strong lines very capable of shutting down top opposition forward units. But this could be a more gettable spot against a Jets team that has not defended overly well by any means and certainly doesn’t offer the same kind of shutdown units.
Dallas’ biggest upside entering the season was its defensive play — or at least the Stars’ identity revolved around a more defensive styled game — and they have played to that strength lately, allowing just 1.87 xGA/60 over their last six.
Oettinger has thrived behind that strong defensive play and has deservedly stolen the starter’s role — we should see him start here with the club right in the thick of a close race.
Oettinger holds a +5.7 goals saved above expected rating with a .922 save percentage through 27 games played.
Winnipeg Jets In Tailspin?
For how high the level of negativity coming out of Winnipeg seems to be, it’s almost surprising to see the club has even managed a 5-4-1 mark over its last 10. But it seems possible wins over Arizona and Montreal could be just a momentary pause in the despair.
At this point, it’s clear that this Jets team does have some flaws and that a return to the postseason out of the Central is simply unlikely. A 6.3% playoff chance seems a little harsh, but that is heavily based upon the Jets’ analytical play, which has remained poor of late.
A number of players have struggled defensively — outside of a nice bounce-back year from Josh Morrissey, there really haven’t been many positives on the back end.
While the Jets’ opponent here sits among the league’s very best clubs defensively over the last six contests, Winnipeg holds the third-worst expected goals against per 60 rate of 3.68 over that time.
Part of the concern has been that two crucial forwards in Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler continue to post far below-average play in the defensive zone. That just seems to be who they are at this point looking at the sample of several seasons.
Connor Hellebuyck should get the start here. He has been in dominant form yet again this season, cultivating a +14.8 goals saved above expected rating and a .912 save percentage throughout 45 games played.
Stars vs. Jets Pick
Dallas has been far better than Winnipeg statically over the last month, which isn’t overly surprising as I feel there’s more to like about the makeup of the Stars — especially in that they skate a considerably deeper back end.
The Jets’ top forwards have all been very gettable in their own zone again this season, and I like this matchup for the Stars’ top line in minutes against Winnipeg’s top six. Good nights from the Stars’ ridiculously strong top trio line have been crucial to Dallas finding success this season.
The Jets likely still hold an edge with Hellebuyck over Oettinger in goal, but numbers-wise it hasn’t played out that way lately — likely because the Stars have simply produced far better play in front of the goal.
Altogether, I certainly feel we have an edge backing the Stars at close to a pick’em in what is a crucial contest for both teams. I’ll be looking for the Stars to keep charging toward the postseason at -110 and would back them down to -125.
Pick: Stars -110 | Bet to: -125
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