NHL Friday best bets: Going under in Winnipeg
We had a solid night on the ice Thursday, going 2-1 with our sides and props. We'll look to keep moving in the right direction with three more plays for the night ahead.
Jets games are where offense goes to die. They don't score, their opponents don't score, and it feels like every game they're involved in is a grind from start to finish.
Forget a total of 6, let alone 6.5; their games have featured five goals or fewer seven times in a row. Seven! While that streak won't last forever, I love the wiggle room that 6.5 provides in this matchup.
As mentioned, the Jets are struggling to score. They're doing a great job of preventing goals, though: At five-on-five, they rank second in the NHL in expected goals against over the past 10 games. They're giving up next to nothing.
When teams finally do break through, they have the privilege of dealing with Connor Hellebuyck. He owns a .917 save percentage (league average is .899) and ranks sixth in goals saved above expected. He has largely played very well all season. The Red Wings are likely to have a difficult time getting pucks by him.
Creating any sort of chance volume against this slow-paced, grind-it-out Jets team is a hard task for anybody, but it should be especially difficult for the Red Wings. At five-on-five, they slot 28th in expected goals generation over the past 10 games. They grade out even worse in terms of actual goals, ranking ahead of only the Blackhawks. I don't see Detroit being the team that forces the Jets into a high-event game.
In terms of expected goals pace - combining generation and prevention numbers - both teams rank bottom five over the past 10. There shouldn't be fireworks in this one.
Bet: Under 6.5 (-135)
Mika Zibanejad over 2.5 shots (-132)
Zibanejad has gone cold shooting the puck. He has recorded three shots or more just four times over the past 10 games while posting some underwhelming attempt numbers. That doesn't bother me at all.
If you dig deeper, you'll notice Zibanejad's recent string of opponents has been extremely challenging. He's faced the Penguins (three times), Hurricanes (twice), and Devils during this rough patch, and each of those teams is very good at limiting shots.
A date with the Sabres is a definite step in the right direction. They're prone to playing high-event hockey and they've allowed the seventh-most shots by centers over the past 10 games.
It's also worth noting - even given his recent struggles - Zibanejad has registered three shots or more in 63% of his games this season.
Expect him to get back on track in a softer matchup than he's grown accustomed to seeing of late.
Roope Hintz over 2.5 shots (-125)
Hintz remains somebody we like to target on the road. His success rate is 12% higher in that situation and the numbers suggest it's no coincidence.
The Stars forward's attempt outputs are also noticeably higher away from home, where his sole mission is facilitating as many Jason Robertson shots as possible.
Tonight he finds himself in a mouth-watering spot against a Coyotes team that bleeds shots to centers. The only side that has conceded more shots to the position over the last 10 is the Blackhawks. They just allowed five shots on goal to Hintz, who rung them up for seven just a couple weeks prior.
He has shown the ability to generate more volume on the road and has consistently hit in advantageous matchups. Expect that trend to continue in Arizona.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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