NHL Odds & Pick: Jets vs. Penguins Betting Preview (January 13)
Joe Hrycych/NHLI via Getty Image. Pictured: Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Winnipeg Jets in Friday night NHL action.
- The Penguins enter as relatively large favorites, but the Jets' stellar defense can keep them in the game, according to Jonny Lazarus.
- Check out Lazarus' full betting preview and picks for Penguins-Jets below.
Jets vs. Penguins Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The Winnipeg Jets are set to play their second half of a back-to-back, but man, have they been on fire lately. They’ve won six out of their last seven games,, and they’ve been filling the back of the net with absolute ease.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a very streaky team all season, but they’ve won two games in a row entering this contest after ending a six-game losing streak.
There’s a good chance David Rittich gets the start in goal for the Jets. And with Tristan Jarry still hurt, we will most likely see Casey DeSmith get the nod for the Penguins.
This should be an excellent hockey game, but with that said, I’m leaning toward the road underdog.
The Jets have been such a fun team to watch this season, and they’re proving to be quite the offensive juggernaut right now. They’ve scored 29 goals over their last seven games.
But it isn’t just the offense helping them win games. Their goaltending has also been fantastic.
Connor Hellebuyck played last night, so it’s probably going to be Rittich who plays in net in this game. Rittich hasn’t been necessarily incredible, but he gives his team a chance to win. He enters this contest with a record of 6-4-0 while boasting a .905 save percentage and a 2.75 goals against average.
If Hellebuyck does get the start, then it’s bad news for the Penguins. He has been outstanding this season, with the second most wins in the NHL (21), only one behind Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins.
Kyle Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois have been tearing it up for the Jets this season. Connor is coming into this game riding an eight-game point streak (6 goals, 8 assists), while Dubois had his own eight-game point streak come to an end in the team’s last game. However, he has still been on fire lately as well.
The Jets are hot right now, and I think they have a ton of value in this game.
The Penguins have been a tough team to figure out this season. They’re sitting in the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference by one point, so every game matters for them right now.
The Pens are coming off of a crazy win over the Canucks, coming back from an early 3-0 deficit before winning by the score of 5-4 on home ice.
Even though they’ve won two straight games, I would say Pittsburgh is still struggling right now — especially on the power play. The Penguins scored two goals on the man advantage in their last game, but they have scored just two power-play goals on their last 26 attempts.
As a team, their man-advantage unit ranks 19th in the league, which is just a little below average.
The biggest area of concern right now is the goaltending situation since they’re missing starter Tristan Jarry due to injury.
DeSmith will most likely be the starter, and he will be tested tonight. He enters this game with a 5-8-2 record, a .904 save percentage and a 3.17 goals against average.
The Penguins’ defensemen are going to have to help out DeSmith tonight in order to slow this Jets offense down.
Jets vs. Penguins Pick
The Jets’ top guns have been absolutely buzzing, and so has their team as a whole. Without Jarry, I have much less faith in the Penguins. That’s not a knock on DeSmith, but they just aren’t as good of a team without Jarry.
The Penguins have scored nine goals in their last two games, but they were playing against the Coyotes and the Canucks. The Jets are a much better defensive opponent than both of those teams.
The Jets are the fifth-best defensive team in the NHL, allowing just 2.67 goals against per game. Whether it’s Hellebuyck or Rittich in goal, the Pens might struggle to score goals.
I think the value is too high on Winnipeg to not take it, especially since it’s won six out of seven games entering this one. I like the Jets to win outright.
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