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Canucks vs. Jets Odds & Pick: When to Back Vancouver on Monday Night (March 1)

Canucks vs. Jets Odds & Pick: When to Back Vancouver on Monday Night (March 1) article feature image

Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Braden Holtby.

  • The Winnipeg Jets look to keep riding their luck on Monday night in a home matchup with the Canucks.
  • Winnipeg is thriving at the moment despite average chance-creation numbers thanks to goaltender Connor Hellebuyck's stellar play.
  • Matt Russell lays out when he's looking to back Vancouver in this matchup.

Canucks vs. Jets Odds

Canucks Odds +120
Jets Odds -142
Over/Under 6.5
Time 8 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday night and via FanDuel.

In the flow of a season, in any sport, part of the key to finishing at a respectable place in the standings is to “find ways to win” when you’re not playing well.

On the flip side, in the case of hockey, you also can’t give away points when you’re playing well. For the third time in each of their last five games, the Canucks and Jets meet as the convergence of this theory. 

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks cannot get out of their own way. After four straight losses at home, they have to be thrilled to get out of the pressure cooker that is Vancouver, a city of high expectations after a good run in the playoff bubble last summer.

Those four losses came despite the Canucks getting the better of the Expected Goal Share (xG%) in three of them. In fact, in getting beaten twice by the Jets, the Canucks had 5.55 xGF while holding Winnipeg to 3.5. 

In the first game in Vancouver, the two teams traded High-Danger Chances (HDC) but only one goal was scored on those when Mark Scheifele converted an early breakaway to give the Jets the eventual game-winner. The Canucks were unable to convert any of their 13 HDC.

Two nights later, the Canucks got the jump on the Jets with 2-0 lead, and cracked down defensively, giving up just four HDC to Winnipeg.

It didn’t help.

Winnipeg found a way to score on the Canucks in other ways and won in overtime. 

One of those ways was managing to take advantage of a soft goal on the Canucks’ veteran netminder, Braden Holtby, that tied the game in the third period. Holtby and co-crease inhabitant for the Canucks Thatcher Demko have combined for a Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA) of -7.64. This is the third-worst combined GSAA in the NHL. Canucks opponents are converting a well-above average 17.6% of their even-strength HDCs.

Simply put, the Canucks are not getting big, timely saves. 

Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.

Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.

xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.

Winnipeg Jets

Timely saves were what won Connor Hellebuyck the Vezina Trophy last season and after a slow start to the season, he’s back on his BS — BS meaning big saves, of course.

Hellebuyck’s GSAA is 5.21, and if that weren’t enough, backup netminder Laurent Broissant is sporting a 3.85 GSAA in just four games this season. 

The Jets have needed every bit of their goaltenders’ excellence this season, and that necessity has never been more obvious than their own last four games. Despite giving up 13, 11, 11 and 12 HDC and losing the xG% in all four games, the Jets are 4-0 with two overtime wins.

Widening the data, the Jets have an average of 11.2 HDC allowed at even-strength in their last nine games after averaging a more palatable 9.72 HDC against in their first 11 games. 

Somehow though, the Jets are near the top of the North Division standings. Actually, that somehow circles back to the goaltenders who are only allowing 12.5% of these HDC to be converted into goals. This is more than making up for an offense that’s only creating 7.4 HDC. Just consider, even at their best subset of the season, the Jets are still being out chanced in high-danger areas while 5-on-5, at a 56.7-43.3 rate. 

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Betting Analysis & Pick

My “Let’s Do That Hockey” model as heard on “THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast,” doesn’t care for either of these teams since they give up what should be an overwhelming amount of quality scoring chances compared to what they create.

However, only the Canucks are being overwhelmed. That said, the Canucks managed to win on their last trip to Winnipeg, a rarity for the franchise. At 11% below average at even-strength, the Jets actually grade out worse than the Canucks who are 7.5% below average. As such, the model is of the belief that the Jets should be just -120 favorites but the market projects the moneylines at WPG -140/VAN +120. 

Even with a long-term goaltending advantage, if the Canucks move to +125, which is an adjusted win probability of 44.4%, they become a profitable edge of over 3% and are a bet.

Given their struggles to put away teams, I would expect the market to drive the Jets price up and make the Canucks a thoroughly uncomfortable bet.

Pick: Canucks if it moves to +125

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