By: Trent Pruitt
Fellas, looking to offset that elegant Valentine’s Day dinner for you and the Mrs. and make it a little easier on the wallet? Then you’re going to want to lock in this best bet for tonight’s Western Conference clash between the slumping Jets and lowly Sharks.
Money Line: WIN -147, SJ +133
Puck Line: WIN -1.5 (+165), SJ +1.5 (-190)
Over/Under: 6.5 (O -105, U -115)
Puck Drop: 6:00 CST, Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB, CA
San Jose Sharks
It hasn’t been a great year for California hockey, especially the Sharks who are sandwiched in between the Ducks and Kings for 7th place in the Pacific Division. They’ve amassed only 52 points on the season thanks to a 24-28-4 record. Let’s start with the defensive end and the goaltending in particular. I’ve been the biggest anti-Martin Jones guy since day one and he’s really showing me how right I’ve been this season. He’s just 13-17-2 on the year with a 3.25 GAA and stopping only .889% of shots. But for tonight, it’s Aaron Dell who is confirmed to start this matchup. Dell has been slightly better, going 11-11-2 with a 2.88 GAA. Aaron Dell has a GSAA (Goals Saved Above Average – the best overall measurement of a goalie) of 0.27 which ranks 32nd amongst netminders in the 2020 campaign. They’ve struggled offensively as well this season, notching only 145 goals over 56 games (2.6 goals per game) which ranks 28th in the league.
As for the Jets, they’ve been all over the place lately, going just 4-5-1 over their last 10 games. Winnipeg’s playoff hopes are still alive and well as they have 63 points and sit just outside of the 2nd Wild Card spot (CAL 66, AZ 64). Since the Coyotes are off tonight, a win slots them back into the playoffs and gives them a date with the St. Louis Blues. As for tonight’s game, it’s confirmed that the Connor Hellebuyck gets the nod between the pipes. When it comes to comparing goalies, Hellybuyck ranks 7th in the NHL with a GSAA of 13.99 – so the Jets will have a big goaltender advantage tonight. Offensively, things have been just decent for Winnipeg. They are 18th in goals scored (171) and shooting percentage (9.48%) while boasting a 17th ranked Power Play (19.3%).
Analysis & Prediction
For me, everything from a statistical standpoint leads me to believe the Jets will get the win tonight. Therefore, give me the Jets -147 for 2 units ($200 → $136). A $136 profit should be enough to treat your woman to a respectable dinner, bottle of wine, and an uber home. If not, it’s time to find a new chick.
But on a serious note, I actually really like Winnipeg tonight. They have home ice, motivation to get back into the playoff picture, and a much better netminder. The Sharks are just 10-14-3 on the road this season while Aaron Dell is just 7-9-1 against the Western Conference. He’s 2-2 in February with a 3.02 GAA so I expect the Jets to be able to pull off a close one tonight, maybe a 3-2 final.
Trent’s Record on NHL Picks in ‘19-’20
26-17 (+0.53 units). A $100 bettor is up $53 this NHL season.
For more sports talk, follow me on Twitter & Instagram – @the_real_pruitt