Winnipeg Jets vs. Nashville Predators Matchup Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena in Game 1 of the NHL’s Western Conference Semis. The action will get underway at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, April 27, and fans at home can watch it live on NBC Sports Network.

Winnipeg Jets vs. Nashville Predators Odds

With a -155 moneyline, Nashville enters the contest as the heavy favorite. The line for Winnipeg sits at +135, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under). Those O/U odds have shifted after originally opening at -110 for both.

The Predators are 57-31 straight up (SU) and have earned 13.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. That winning percentage, ranked second in the league in this young season, is an improvement over the 41-41 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Through 88 regular season contests, 44 of its games have gone over the total, while 43 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team is 30-14 SU at home this season.

Nashville’s offensive attack attempted 32.4 shots per game in the regular season, leading to 3.3 goals per contest (ranked seventh overall in the NHL). In the playoffs, the club is climbed to an average of 35.3 shots on goal ( 3.7 goals per game).

Following a regular season where they found the net on 20.8 percent of all power-play opportunities (the 14th-rated), the Predators have been able to score on 15.8 percent of their power plays in the postseason. Their penalty kill has gone from 82.4 percent in the regular season to 90.0 percent in the playoffs.

Averaging 28.4 saves per game with a .926 save percentage, Pekka Rinne (46-19-4) has been the best goalkeeper for the Predators this season. If the Preds choose to give him a rest, however, it might turn to Juuse Saros (12-15-15 record, .926 save percentage, 2.39 goals against average).

The Preds will continue to rely on offensive production via Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. Forsberg (70 points) has tallied 30 goals and 40 assists and has recorded two or more points in 20 different games this year. Arvidsson has 31 goals and 33 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 45 games.

Winnipeg is 56-31 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 19.8 units this year. A total of 43 of its matches have gone under the total, while 42 have gone over and just two have pushed. Winnipeg’s 21-22 SU as the road team this season.

Winnipeg has converted on 23.5 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that places it in the top-five among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked ninth overall and it’s successfully defended 81.5 percent of all opponent power plays.

Winnipeg’s players have been penalized 3.9 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties 11.2 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Connor Hellebuyck (.924 save percentage and 2.33 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Winnipeg. Hellebuyck is averaging 27.8 saves per game and owns a 48-24-9 record.

Blake Wheeler (24 goals, 71 assists) has been one of the top playmakers on offense for the visiting Jets.

Winnipeg Jets at Nashville Predators Free Picks

Prediction: SU Winner – Jets, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone under in three of Nashville’s last five games.
  • Penalties and power plays could be key tonight. The Jets are 24-11 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 37-20 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Predators are 21-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 27-16 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Nashville skaters have managed 9.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 8.0 takeaways per game (ranked 11th in the league).
  • Winnipeg is averaging 3.2 goals per game in their last five games (the team’s a perfect 5-0 SU over that span).
  • Winnipeg has managed 6.6 takeaways per game over its last five road games, its season average of 7.1 takeaways per game (ranked 16th).