by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Winnipeg Jets will have motivation – if not history in the head-to-head matchup – against the team which ended their season last spring. The Jets are the +105 home underdog while the St. Louis Blues are the -125 away favourite with a 5.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Friday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Winnipeg is 1-5 in its last six home games against St. Louis, but is also 5-1 in its last six games as a home underdog at online betting sites with the total finishing OVER four times. A data point in the Blues’ favour is their 8-2 record in their last 10 away games against the Central Division. The teams will complete a home-and-home series at St. Louis on Sunday.
Blues at Jets | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Blues have a Central Division-leading 24-8-6 record. St. Louis has a slightly better than league-average offense led by centers Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly and ranks 19th in the 31-team NHL in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (49.4 percent). The Blues also excel at limiting both the quantity and quality of scoring chances, which is a big reason why they rank 14th in goals scored (3.10) and fourth in goals against (2.53). The Blues’ power play is ranked sixth (23.6 percent) and their penalty killing unit ranks fifth (83.9).
Teams usually have their No. 1 goalie play the first leg of a home-and-home. The Blues’ Jordan Binnington, with a 17-6-4 record, 2.38 goals-against average and .921 save percentage, is having a strong season.
The Jets are 21-14-2 this season after a 6-2 defeat against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. Winnipeg often struggles to generate a high volume of shots, ranking 22nd in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (48.7 percent). That means they will need either extremely high efficiency from their offence led by Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, or an off night from the Blues goaltending. The Jets are 17th in goals scored (3.00) and 11th in goals against (2.86). On special teams, the power play is ranked 18th (18.5 percent), but their penalty killing unit ranks 29th (73.3).
Connor Hellebuyck, who has a 17-10-2 record with a 2.44 goals-against average and .926 save percentage, should be in line for the goaltending start. Hellebuyck has had five days off since his last start on December 21.
The return game in St. Louis on Sunday is part of a two-game road trip for the Jets, who also visit the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.