Saturday’s NHL Slate Breakdown: Expert Best Bets For 14-Game Slate (February 11)

Saturday’s NHL Slate Breakdown: Expert Best Bets For 14-Game Slate (February 11) article feature image

Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikolaj Ehlers (right) and the Winnipeg Jets mascot (left).

The first truly appealing NHL slate in weeks will come with Saturday's monstrous 14 gamer, and we have a couple of best bets for this slate on February 11.

Let's dive into my favorite widely available plays in what my editors like to call our NHL expert best bets for Saturday, February 11.

New Jersey Devils vs Minnesota Wild — Wild Moneyline (-120)

Devils Odds+100
Wild Odds-120
Over/Under6 (+100/-120)
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Over the last eight games, the New Jersey Devils have put up a stellar 6-1-1 record,  which on a surface level immediately makes you question the logic in fading a team on such a tear.

New Jersey has managed this crazy stretch of results in incredibly unconvincing fashion, and this has been one of the luckier runs I have seen in my entire time handicapping the NHL.

Five of those six wins came past regulation and in matchups where it was very clear-cut which team had actually played better hockey prior to the three on three. A lot of those games came versus notably shorthanded teams, outright bad teams, or in favorable scheduling spots.

The Devils' dreadful 43.28% expected goals rating through that sample matches the eye test very clearly, which states that New Jersey is not playing overly strong hockey by any means.

Goaltending and the ability to finish at the right times is a massive part of hockey and can steal seemingly undeserved victories, but this recent Devils run has gone far past that and is just an entirely unsustainable way to win.

A sound summary would be Jack Hughes' late equalizer in San Jose. With eight seconds left, Hughes bounced in a shot off of Sharks defender Erik Karlsson to tie the game and avoid what would have been a very deserving loss in regulation.

Hughes is also now sidelined, which is another key factor to the belief that New Jersey is very due to start taking some losses.

The Minnesota Wild have been at the exact opposite end of the spectrum, as they have played through a very tough recent schedule with solid underlying results but managed a record of just 2-6-0.

Minnesota faced a tough schedule in those eight games, which included road games versus Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay and Dallas, yet still managed a very reasonable 50.72% expected goals rating.

Under Dean Evason, Minnesota's current core has proven that in the regular season it is an elite squad, and my belief is that this is a great spot to target the Wild snapping back into form.

Filip Gustavsson has also been confirmed as Minnesota's starting goaltender, which is an important note, as he has been miles better than Marc-Andre Fleury.

Chicago Blackhawks vs Winnipeg Jets — Jets -1.5 (-145)

Blackhawks Odds+285
Jets Odds-365
Over/Under6 (-115/-105)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After an extremely impressive first half overall, the Winnipeg Jets will return from a 10-day layoff as gigantic favorites hosting the Chicago Blackhawks.

The potential for a little early rust is the only factor working in Chicago's favour tonight, and I love this as a spot for Winnipeg to continue dominating at home, where it has gone 18-8-0.

Having started Jaxson Stauber last night, Chicago will likely go with Petr Mrazek in goal, which is very bad news in a contest where Winnipeg will in all likelihood generate a wealth of quality chances.

Mrazek has played to a -10.8 GSAx rating and .885 save %, and those numbers are significantly worse than the rest of Chicago's netminding options.

Winnipeg is offering two deadly units offensively, and a power-play which projects to trend closer to the league's top third with Nikolaj Ehlers back in the mix.

The firepower is there for this to be a blowout, and I do not see Chicago's defensive concerns being hidden in this matchup, especially with Mrazek in goal.

Use Winnipeg as a parlay piece or just lay the juice straight up, but either way, my belief is that the true chances the Jets cover -1.5 is greater than the implied 59.2% probability suggests.

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