NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Avalanche vs. Jets

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Avalanche vs. Jets article feature image

Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck

  • The Jets, who have already beaten the Avalanche twice this season, host Colorado on Friday night.
  • The Avalanche enter this game having won three in a row and are looking to continue playing well on the road.
  • Ryan Dadoun offers up his best bet below.

Avalanche vs. Jets Odds

Avalanche Odds-102
Jets Odds-118
Over/Under5.5 (-110/-104)
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Jets have already beat Colorado twice this season, but their most recent contest was Nov. 29. Has enough changed to expect the outcome of Friday's game to be any different or are the Avalanche heading for their third loss of the season versus Winnipeg?

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Colorado Avalanche

Unfortunately, one of the biggest changes between now and when Colorado suffered a 5-0 loss to Winnipeg on Nov. 29 isn't a good one: Cale Makar is in concussion protocol and isn't expected to be available Friday night. Makar is the reigning Norris Trophy winner and has 13 goals and 45 points in 46 contests this season. His value to the team can't be overstated.

To the Avalanche's credit though, they've won four of their past five games and Makar was only in the lineup for one of those contests. Nathan MacKinnon has been a big part of their recent success, contributing five goals and 12 points over that five-game span. MacKinnon was held to just an assist over Colorado's first two games against Winnipeg this season, but he's one of the best forwards in the league and just because the Jets contained him before doesn't necessarily mean they'll be able to again.

In addition to a hot MacKinnon, Colorado has Bowen Byram, who was dealing with a lower-body injury when the Avalanche last met Winnipeg. Byram has helped make up for Makar's absence by scoring two goals and tallying five points over the Avalanche's past five games.

In net, Colorado is likely to send out Alexandar Georgiev, especially given that Pavel Francouz (lower body) isn't an option. Georgiev has struggled against the Jets this season, posting a 4.49 GAA and a .824 save percentage over two starts, so Colorado just has to hope that the third time's the charm. Unfortunately, Georgiev hasn't exactly done his best work recently with a 3.49 GAA and a .908 save percentage over his past five outings.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets don't have any the same number of injury issues to worry about when compared to Colorado. David Gustafsson (upper body) and Cole Perfetti (upper body) might miss the contest, but neither player is a critical part of the Jets' core. That said, Perfetti did register three assists when Winnipeg last faced Colorado, so it is noteworthy that he might miss the rematch.

Blake Wheeler, who had a hat trick and an assist in the last contest against Colorado, is expected to play. He has been held off the scoresheet for the past three games, but Wheeler is having a great season with 15 goals and 42 points in 49 contests. Mark Scheifele, who provided a goal and two helpers when he last faced the Avalanche, should lead the charge again. Scheifele has two goals and four points in his past three contests, as well as 34 goals and 52 points in 58 outings this season.

The Jets aren't hurting for scoring threats, though it's worth remembering offense isn't actually their strength. In fact, Winnipeg ranks 17th offensively with 3.10 goals per game. The Jets instead have earned their 35-22-1 record due in large part to Connor Hellebuyck, who has a 26-17-1 record, a 2.39 GAA and a .925 save percentage in 44 games this season. Hellebuyck also posted a 40-save shutout in Winnipeg's past meeting with Colorado.

Hellebuyck isn't unbeatable, but there aren't many goaltenders out there who can take charge of a game better than him.

Avalanche vs. Jets Pick

These are two really good teams, so it's fair that the odds are even, but I think taking Winnipeg on the moneyline is a good play. The Jets are at home, where they have a dominate 20-8-0 record, and even if the Avalanche have managed to get by so far, missing Makar is a big deal. Plus, in a goaltending matchup between Hellebuyck and Georgiev, the Jets have a clear edge.

Colorado shouldn't be completely dismissed. The Avalanche still have an effective forward core capable of challenging Hellebuyck, but I just don't believe that will be enough.

Pick: Jets Moneyline | Play to -120

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