Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Minnesota Wild look to avoid elimination at Bell MTS Place in Game 5 of the NHL postseason’s first round. The opening face-off takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, April 20, and fans at home can view the game live on USA, TVA and FSN.

Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets Odds

Winnipeg (+190) is playing the role of underdog to Winnipeg (-230), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-130 for the under, +110 for the over).

The Jets are 55-31 straight up (SU) and have earned moneyline bettors 18.8 units this year. That winning percentage, ranked third in the NHL in this young season, is a welcome improvement over the 40-42 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Of its 86 games this season, 42 have gone over the total, while another 42 have gone under and just two have pushed. This year, the team is 34-9 SU at home.

Winnipeg’s offense attempted 32.4 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.3 goals per contest (ranked second overall in the NHL). In the postseason, the club’s climbed to an average of 35.8 shots on goal (yet down to 2.8 goals per game).

After accounting for the fifth-best power-play unit in the regular season (converting 23.3 percent of all opportunities), the Jets have connected on 20.0 percent of their postseason power play opportunities.

Boasting a .923 save percentage and 27.8 saves per game, Connor Hellebuyck (47-24-9) has been the top goalkeeper for the Jets this year. If they choose to give him a rest, however, head coach Paul Maurice could go with Steve Mason (5-9-9 record, .907 save percentage, 3.15 goals against average).

The Jets will continue to rely on offensive production out of Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine. Wheeler (94 points) has tallied 24 goals and 70 assists and has recorded multiple points on 25 different occasions this year. Laine has 46 goals and 28 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 54 contests.

On the other bench, Minnesota is 46-40 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.4 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. A total of 42 of its contests have gone over the total, while 40 have gone under and just four have pushed. As the away team, Minnesota is 18-25 SU.

Minnesota has converted on 20.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 13th overall and it’s successfully defended 81.1 percent of all opponent power plays.

Minnesota’s players have been penalized 3.8 times per game this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five road outings. The team’s been forced to kill penalties 14.4 minutes per contest over their last five road games.

Devan Dubnyk (27.4 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Minnesota. Dubnyk owns a 37-27-7 record, while registering a .919 save percentage and 2.52 goals against average this year.

Eric Staal (43 goals, 35 assists) will pace the attack for the visiting Wild.

Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets Betting Predictions

Free NHL Tip: SU Winner – Wild, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone under in four of Winnipeg’s last five outings.
  • Minnesota has managed 23.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Winnipeg is averaging 36.2 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • Penalties and power plays may prove to be critical in tonight’s matchup. The Wild are 12-13 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 31-21 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Jets are 24-11 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 36-20 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Winnipeg skaters have forced 9.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.1 takeaways per game (ranked 16th overall).
  • Minnesota is ranked 25th overall this season with 5.7 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down, however, as the team has averaged 4.4 takeaways over its last 10 games and 4.6 takeaways over its last five.
  • Winnipeg might hold an advantage if it’s a close one late. The team’s 23-14 in games decided by one goal, while Minnesota is 12-16 in such games.