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The Winnipeg Jets will pay a visit to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night. NHL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi shares his best bet for the night.

Winnipeg Jets vs. Dallas Stars Prediction: Can the Jets Return to Winning Ways?

Last night gave us a perfect result, with the Islanders winning easily and cashing their team total over. The night before, fading the Jets proved successful, with the Flames covering the puckline late. However, I think there's value on the Jets tonight against the Stars. This is a game between two exceedingly inconsistent teams, and neither should be favored by as much as Dallas is. Let's dive in.

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Winnipeg Jets vs. Dallas Stars Prediction

The Stars (27-20-2) have had a rollercoaster of a year, one that has included multiple losing streaks of four or more games along with some stretches of winning. Their last three weeks of play perfectly encapsulate the season as a whole—they've beaten playoff teams on three separate occasions, yet dropped a game to the last-place Coyotes. At this point, Dallas is three points out of a playoff spot (with a game in hand). They desperately need points, and tonight would be a good time to get back on track.

The Jets (22-20-8) have been equally inconsistent, but their season is in more dire straits. Over the last three weeks, they have three wins over playoff teams to go along with losses to the lowly Blackhawks and Flyers. Winnipeg is seven points out of a playoff spot, and the Stars are one of the teams they need to chase down in order to snag it. A win tonight would be a good start to that end.

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The biggest edge the Jets have against the Stars is goaltending. Connor Hellebuyck was snubbed of a Vezina finalist spot last year, and he has followed up with another superb campaign. Indeed, he has saved 17.2 goals above expected, which ranks fifth in the NHL. For the Stars, Braden Holtby is likely to start. He has allowed 1.4 more goals than expected, which is slightly below average. All in all, Winnipeg has the much better goaltender.

In terms of on-ice results at even strength, these teams are closely matched. The Stars have the league's 15th best expected goals share at 50.58%; the Jets are right behind in 19th with a share of 48.89%. Both teams' expected goal results have been trending sharply downward, so it seems like a toss-up as to which team will produce a better effort.

The one category in which the Stars appear to hold an advantage is special teams. Both power plays have been productive at creating high-quality chances—the Stars have the 6th most xGF/60 on the man-advantage with 8.69, while the Jets are right behind in 8th with 8.18 xGF/60. Dallas, however, has a much better penalty kill. The unit has allowed the second fewest xGA/60 at 5.58, meaning they are excellent at preventing high-danger scoring opportunities. Winnipeg's kill ranks 19th in this category, meaning they tend to give up a fair number of those high-danger chances. They will need to stay out of the box, or this could prove costly.

All in all, these two teams are reasonably well-matched. One has a much better goaltender, while the other is healthier and has produced stronger special teams play. Neither has shown the type of strong form recently that would tilt me in their favor. I would price this game at close to even money, with the Stars as slight favorites due to home-ice advantage. Therefore, with this line at anywhere from -140 to -160 at the moment, it's an easy bet. I'm happy taking the Jets at any price down to +125.

Winnipeg Jets vs. Dallas Stars Line Movement

Winnipeg Jets vs. Dallas Stars Pick

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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