Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets Game Preview

In their first head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets take the ice at Bell MTS Place in a Central Division matchup. The game will get going at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14 and it’s being televised live on NBC Sports Chicago.

Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets Odds

With a moneyline of -130, Winnipeg enters the matchup as the favorite. The line for Chicago sits at +110 and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -125 for the over and +105 for the under. The Jets are 18-13 straight up (SU) and have earned moneyline bettors 4.3 units this season. That winning percentage, ranked 3rd in the Central Division in this young season, is a welcome improvement over the 40-42 record from last years regular season campaign. Through 31 regular season outings, 18 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 11-3 SU at home this season. Winnipeg currently has the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 26.1 percent of their extra-man opportunities this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.5 percent of all penalties. Winnipeg, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.3 times per game overall this season, and 3.2 per game over its last five matchups home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties for just 8.5 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, in total. Averaging 26.8 saves per game with a .920 save percentage, Connor Hellebuyck (16-9-4) has been the top goalkeeper for the Jets this season. If they choose to give him the night off, however, head coach Paul Maurice could go with Steve Mason (2-6-6 record, .904 save percentage, 3.45 goals against average). The Jets will continue looking for offensive production out of Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Wheeler (38 points) has tallied eight goals and 30 assists and has recorded multiple points on 10 separate occasions this year. Scheifele has 14 goals and 21 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 18 contests. Over on the other bench, Chicago is 15-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 4.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 17 of its outings have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and just one has pushed. Chicago’s 6-9 SU as the visiting team this season. Chicago has converted on just 15.3 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s ranked 30th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked fifth overall and it’s successfully defended 83.0 percent of all opponent power plays. Chicago’s players have been whistled for penalties 3.9 times per game this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five games. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 6.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Corey Crawford (.933 save percentage and 2.20 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Chicago. Crawford is averaging 29.4 saves per game and owns a 14-10-2 record. For the visiting Blackhawks, the offense will be facilitated through Patrick Kane (11 goals, 19 assists) and Alex DeBrincat (12 goals, 11 assists).

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Jets, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone over in four of Winnipeg’s last five outings.
  • Penalties and power plays may be extremely important tonight. The Blackhawks are 11-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 10-8 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Jets are 8-5 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 9-6 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Winnipeg is ranked 19th this season with 6.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down lately, however, as it has averaged 6.1 takeaways over its last 10 games and 4.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Chicago has allowed 2.7 goals per game overall this year, but has gotten that figure down 1.7 per contest in their past three games (the teams a perfect 3-0 SU during that span).
  • Chicago skaters have averaged 6.0 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.7 takeaways per game (ranked 15th).