Jets vs Avalanche | NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction
Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan MacKinnon
- The Colorado Avalanche host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night as the NHL regular season winds down.
- Greg Liodice thinks this game could get lopsided and his best bet reflects that.
- Continue reading for his pick and breakdown of Jets vs Avalanche.
Jets vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After securing the final playoff spot in the West, the Winnipeg Jets head to Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche. The Jets managed to win after a nearly devastating stretch, but ended up winning their past three games and are 7-3 over their past 10.
Colorado has been on a tear and is hoping to secure the top seed in the Central Division. Prior to losing Wednesday in overtime, the Avalanche won five in a row. They’ve gone 8-1-1 in their past 10 games and are more than ready for playoff hockey.
Here’s a look at our odds, as well as our prediction for the Winnipeg Jets vs. Colorado Avalanche.
Winnipeg has one of the more talented rosters in the league. Mark Scheifele is having a career year with 42 goals and Kyle Connor is just under a point per game. Defenseman Josh Morrissey is also near that point per game mark, and Pierre-Luc Dubois continues to be a thorn in the opposition’s side.
Over their past five games, the Jets have been a solid even strength team. They’re 13th in expected goals with a 52.27 xGF%, but the power play has suffered by only scoring 19.5% of the time.
Their defensive game has held up pretty strong. Winnipeg is 13th ranked with 2.57 xGA/60, and the penalty kill is among the best with an 82.6% success rate.
After the stretch Connor Hellebuyck went on to help catapult the Jets to the playoffs, I wouldn’t be surprised to see David Rittich here. Rittich has been a respectable backup all season, playing to a -3.0 goals saved above expected and a .902 SV%.
The defending champs roster speaks for itself. Both Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen have over 100 points (MacKinnon has 107 in 69 games) and Cale Makar is averaging over a point per game. There’s no doubt Colorado stumbled into the season with a Stanley Cup hangover, but the Avs are now one of the more dangerous teams to face come playoff time.
Colorado has sustained a substantial even-strength attack and has hovered near the top 10 in expected goals for. Additionally, the power play is lethal and scores at nearly a 25% clip.
Defensively, the Avs have been spectacular at even strength. Throughout the season, they’re sixth with a 2.42 xGA/60. While the penalty kill is good, it can be better, succeeding 79% of the time.
Not only was Alexandar Georgiev dynamite in Wednesday’s game against Edmonton, but he’s been like that all season long. For his first full season as a starter, Georgiev played to a wonderful +23.7 GSAx and a .919 SV%. Since tonight’s game is critical to Colorado’s seeding, I would expect him to start.
Jets vs. Avalanche Pick
With Winnipeg not playing for much and the Avalanche playing for seeding, I have a feeling this could get one sided. The Jets are probably run down from clawing their way back into the playoffs, so I can see this game being a clunker. This also factors in goaltending. Coach Rick Bowness hasn’t announced anything yet, but I’d have to imagine he’d prefer to give Hellebuyck a rest after starting 13 straight games.
The Avalanche are a deadly team without implications, so when they have something to play for, it could get scary. They’re a top-10 team in nearly all facets of the game, and make teams pay for mistakes. Given how hot they were before Wednesday night (losing to Edmonton in overtime is nothing to be ashamed of), I fully expect them to bounce back in a big way and secure the top seed in the Central.
Pick: Avalanche -1.5
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