The Winnipeg Jets might be happy to escape the freezing-cold Canadian weather for a South Florida excursion, but that’s about all that’s positive right now.
Winnipeg isn’t officially eliminated from the playoffs, but its postseason hopes are fleeting heading into a matchup with the juggernaut Florida Panthers, who lead the Eastern Conference standings and also have won eight straight games.
The road team is a lofty NHL betting underdog for tonight’s Jets vs. Panthers matchup — is there any way our free NHL picks and predictions see Winnipeg hanging with The Cats?
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Jets vs Panthers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The line opened at a lopsided -196 for the Panthers, with the Jets at +171, and it has continued to swell — as of 10:30 a.m. ET, Florida is as low as -275, while Winnipeg can be found as high at +220. The total opened at 6.5 and Over bettors have already pushed that to 7.0 at most sportsbooks, juiced towards the Under.
Jets vs Panthers predictions
Predictions made on 4/15/2022 at 10:40 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Jets vs Panthers game info
• Location: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, FLA
• Date: Friday, April 15, 2022
• Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: Bally Sports Florida, TSN3
Jets vs Panthers betting preview
Jets: Mark Scheifele C (Out), Cole Perfetti LW (Out), Logan Stanley D (Day-to-Day).
Panthers: Aaron Ekblad D (Out), Noel Acciari C (Day-to-Day), Ryan Lomberg LW (Day-to-Day).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Jets vs Panthers head-to-head record (this season)
Jets: 1-0-0, five goals for.
Panthers: 0-1-0, three goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 4-0 in the Jets’ last four games as an underdog. Find more NHL betting trends for Jets vs. Panthers.
Jets vs Panthers picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Yes, the Florida Panthers have been one of the league’s truly elite teams all season long, but they are kicking it into high gear to finish up the NHL regular season, riding an eight-game winning streak that matches the team’s longest run since it opened the season with eight straight Ws.
Simply put, the Panthers are a complete offensive juggernaut. They boast elite top-end talent in Jonathan Huberdeau (tied for second in NHL with 105 points) and Sasha Barkov, but the real scary part is Florida’s unparalleled scoring depth. The Panthers have seven players above the 50-point mark and 11 players with 40+ points — their “third line” of Mason Marchment, Anton Lundell, and Sam Reinhart has a combined 153 points.
The result is a team that scores 4.14 goals on 37.6 shots per game, and at 5-on-5 has 3.15 expected goals and 14.16 high-danger chances per 60 minutes, with a Corsi For percentage of 56.73% — all No. 1 in the league. The Panthers also boast the league’s sixth-ranked power play, for good measure, and have logged at least four goals in seven of eight games during this current victorious stretch.
The Jets, on the other hand, are likely finishing the year without any postseason action for the first time in five seasons. While Kyle Connor has emerged as a true superstar and Mark Scheifele (out tonight) has been solid as usual, Pierre-Luc Dubois struggled and extended absences from Blake Wheeler and Nik Ehlers sapped their scoring depth — and former Vezina Trophy winner Connor Hellebuyck was unable to pick up the slack, posting a 2.93 GAA and .911 SV% this season, including a .921 SV% at 5-on-5 (42nd among goalies this season).
Offensive inconsistencies and not-otherworldly goaltending aside, neither unit has gotten any help from the Jets blueline. At 5-on-5, Winnipeg has the fourth-highest expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5, gives up the fourth-most high-danger chances against/60, and boasts a sub-50 CF%.
Winnipeg is still technically in the playoff hunt and has won consecutive games, which doesn’t sound all gloom-and-doom. However, the reality is that the Jets are seven points out of the final playoff spot in the West (with seven games to play) with two other teams to leapfrog in the process, and those two recent wins came against bottom feeders in Montreal and Ottawa — with four straight losses preceding that stretch.
The Jets have also struggled against offensive powerhouses this season: In six games against the three highest-scoring teams in the league, Winnipeg gave up 5.5 goals per contest, including a 5-3 home loss to these same Panthers back in January.
Desperation should motivate Winnipeg to come out firing and keep their slim playoff hopes alive, but Florida also still has something to play for — it holds a six-point lead over Carolina for the top spot in the East (and home ice throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs) and trails Colorado by four points in the President’s Trophy race (and home ice in the Stanley Cup Final) — and it ultimately has too much talent for the Jets.
There’s absolutely zero value in taking the Panthers on the moneyline, but if we take the Panthers to win in regulation, we get a significantly better team at a much more palatable price.
Prediction: Panthers 3-way moneyline (-150 at bet365)
Looking at each team’s offense and defense, the Panthers score a pile of goals and the Jets give up a bunch of goals, especially against high-octane offenses.
Winnipeg hasn’t been particularly outstanding on offense lately, sitting 19th in the league with 3.0 goals per game in April, but working in favor of the Over is that the Panthers do have a tendency to give up goals.
Florida has conceded at least three goals in five of their last eight wins and has allowed 3+ goals in nine of their last 13 games overall, with the outliers coming against the Ducks (twice), Chicago, and Nashville — all in the bottom third of the league in scoring this month.
This line has already moved from the opening number of 6.5 to 7 at most books, but there are some outlets still offering a 6.5, albeit juiced to the Over.
That said, we’re willing to pay a little bit of juice for the Over 6.5 as the Panthers, who have had two days of rest since their last game, are likely to bang home 4-5 goals, so we’d need two (maybe three) goals from the Jets to hit this Over.
We like those odds, especially removing the option of a push at seven goals.
Prediction: Over 6.5 (-120 at FanDuel)
Not only do the Panthers love to score, but they love to score early.
The Panthers lead the NHL with 92 goals in the opening frame, an average of 1.28 per contest, while the Jets clock in at 16th with 65 1P goals (0.88/game). Defensively the clubs are similar in the first 20 minutes, giving up 0.92 and 0.91 goals against per game, respectively.
It’s no surprise that Florida also leads the league in hitting first-period Over 1.5 (at 70.83%, per PsuOtto) and has cashed that bet in eight of its last 10 contests.
The Jets clock in at just 52.7% for the year on 1P O1.5, and are a more modest 6-4 in their last 10, but — as has been the theme of this preview — this bet is more about the Panthers driving the play.
Pick: First period Over 1.5 (-155 at DraftKings)
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