Capitals vs. Jets Odds & Picks: Friday’s Betting Value on Winnipeg
Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Connor Hellebuyck.
- The Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets face off in NHL action on Friday night.
- Jets coach Paul Maurice resigned on Friday, but is there still value on Winnipeg?
- Nicholas Martin breaks it down below.
Capitals vs. Jets Odds
|Over/Under||6 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Winnipeg Jets look to bounce-back after an embarrassing home loss to the Sabres Tuesday. That 4-2 loss put an exclamation mark on a rough 4-8-2 stretch which has essentially eliminated their playoff chances.
The Capitals took a tough 5-4 overtime loss in Chicago on Wednesday. Although they controlled considerably more of the 5-on-5 play, they didn’t do enough to overcome allowing three power play goals.
The Capitals have been in considerably better form but will face a tough road spot short a number of key pieces tomorrow night. Can Winnipeg take advantage and claim a desperately needed two points?
The Capitals will be forced to travel in to Winnipeg on game day to minimize the risk of players being stranded in Canada who may test positive for COVID tomorrow morning.
They will be short a number of key pieces, as Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nick Dowd, and Trevor Van Riemsdyk will be unavailable due to COVID-protocol. Tom Wilson also practiced in a non-contact jersey Thursday and will most likely remain out.
Evgeny Kuznetsov’s loss can not be overstated. Alexander Ovechkin’s MVP-calibre play is grabbing most of the headlines, but he has done so while being greatly aided by Kuznetsov’s excellent bounce-back season.
Tom Wilson’s importance to the team can’t be overstated either, and he has been a very stable presence for the Capitals this season by contributing 24 points in 27 games as well as some excellent penalty killing.
The Capitals will still have five of six pieces of their dominant back-end with Van Riemsdyk out. This unit has created a ton of offense and been a big reason for the Capitals’ strong 55.09 xGF% over their last seven games. However, this is a tough spot against a Jets team that should be at its sharpest here.
Ilya Samsonov will probably draw the start here, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Vitek Vanecek sneak in. Samsonov owns a .910 Save % and -0.1 Goals Saved Above Expected rating (GSAx) throughout 16 contests this season.
As the season wears along, the Winnipeg Jets are beginning to show more the cracks witnessed last season. Their talented defensive unit has been exposed recently by allowing a league-leading 3.23 goals over their last 6 games.
They have generated at a solid clip of 2.84 xGF/60 over that span, but the defensive play will need to improve if they want to make the postseason.
I’m not in love with their defense corps by any means, and a number of big name forwards such as Mark Scheifele and the now-injured Blake Wheeler simply need to be better defensively going forward.
However, this team should produce better defensive results under coach Paul Maurice than they have produced recently as we should see an upswing closer to their bad-but-not-awful play seen much of this season.
The talent is there to produce better results than we have seen of late, and having two off-days between home games to prepare for this tilt could allow Maurice to sort out the defensive woes in front of goal.
Connor Hellebuyck should start here, and he has been stellar again with a .915 Save % and a +13.0 GSAx rating this season.
Jets vs. Capitals Pick
The NHL is a very competitive league, and over an 82-game season, simply betting the better team isn’t always the technique. This sets up as a good spot for a desperate Jets team to get back on track considering the Caps roster and draining COVID/travel situations.
The Jets have some clear issues right now with their defensive play, but they still hold a wealth of offensive talent up front and an all-world goaltender in Hellebuyck.
They should be better than we have seen of late, even if the roster holds some weaknesses, and I think this sets up as a good spot to play more in the attacking zone to take some pressure off of that less mobile defensive unit.
Considering the intricacies of this spot, I am willing to back them as a slight underdog at -105, and if they can’t carry more of the play here, I would take that as quite a statement on where this group is for the time being.
If you do want to back the Caps, I recommend doing so close to puck-drop because they are far more likely to see guys join the COVID-Protocol list tomorrow morning than the Jets are.
Considering I like the Jets here, getting bets in at the current number of -105 makes sense as we may not see a better number unless somehow several Jets miss the contest unexpectedly.
Edit 11:44 AM Friday:
Obviously Paul Maurice’s resignation is massive news, but I definitely still like this play here, and as we have seen with Boudreau and Mike Yeo this year it can definitely offer teams a boost right from the start.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets -105 (Play to -115)