by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Some strong UNDER trends abound as the reeling Winnipeg Jets head into a classic matchup of teams trending in opposite directions in their final game before the all-star break. The Jets are the +145 underdog while the Columbus Blue Jackets are a -165 home favorite with a 5.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Jets, who lost 4-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, are 2-4 in their last six games when they played the previous day. They are also 4-4 in their last eight away games as a +125 to +150 moneyline underdog at online sports betting sites with the total finishing UNDER six times. The Blue Jackets are 6-8 as a home favorite this season with the total finishing UNDER in 10 of those 14 matchups, and they are also 9-6 in their last 15 home games against the Central Division with the total finishing UNDER nine times.
Jets at Blue Jackets | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Jets are 25-21-4, including a 1-5 record over their last six games. A lack of depth both up front and at the back has been a contributor to the slump, as there is only so much offensive leaders such as Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler can do to keep Winnipeg from being 25th in the 31-team NHL in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (48.0 percent). The Jets are 20th in goals scored (2.92 per game) and 18th in goals against (3.10). On special teams, the power play is ranked 16th (19.6 percent) but the penalty killing unit is ranked 28th (75.0).
Winnipeg faces a goaltending choice between unrested starter Connor Hellebuyck or little-used backup Laurent Brossoit. Hellebuyck is 21-16-4 with a 2.74 goals-against average and .917 save percentage this season, but has only made one start this season when he also started the previous night. Brossoit has a 4-5-0 record with a 3.67 GAA and .885 save percentage, but has allowed 11 goals in his last two starts.
The Blue Jackets are 26-16-8, including a 5-0 record in their last five games with three of the wins by shutout. Columbus’ forward corps, led by center Pierre-Luc Dubois and right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand, is not overly deep, as they rank 22nd in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage, but the elite defense pairing of Zach Werenski and Seth Jones has helped them remain competitive this season. The Blue Jackets are 24th in goals scored (2.68 per per game) and second in goals against (2.50). On special teams, their power play is ranked 23rd (17.1 percent) and the penalty killing unit is ranked ninth (81.3).
Goalie Elvis Merzlikins has an 8-6-4 record with a 2.36 goals-against average and .928 save percentage overall. The Latvian is one of the NHL’s hottest goalies with a 1.57 GAA and .953 save percentage in nine starts so far in January.
The Jets will have an eight-day break before hosting the Boston Bruins on January 31 to begin a three-game homestand.