NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Jets vs. Canadiens (April 11)
Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images
- The Jets face off vs. the Canadiens in an all-Canadian battle.
- Both teams have struggled defensively this season, but the Jets have some strong offensive pieces and the Canadiens have improved greatly on that side of the ice under Martin St. Louis.
- Nick Martin dives into this matchup and offers up his thoughts from a betting perspective.
Jets vs. Canadiens Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Winnipeg kept it’s miniscule playoff hopes alive for another night thanks to Sunday’s 4-3 win in Ottawa. The Jets will get right back at it as they head to Montreal to challenge the Canadiens on Monday.
The Canadiens have been far from a pushover under Martin St. Louis, and will look to take advantage of a very soft Winnipeg club — at least, in regards to defensive play.
Winnipeg does hold some elite offensive pieces, however, and is very capable of using its scoring abilities to bail out the defense.
Will we see a high-scoring affair on Monday in front of one of hockey’s liveliest crowds?
Jets Need to Keep Scoring
Winnipeg’s success has revolved around scoring enough to overcome poor defensive play.
Sunday’s contest vs. the Senators went no different, as the Jets covered up for allowing a three spot to lowly Ottawa.
The Sens won the expected goals battle by more than a full point, generating 4.03 xGF/60.
Over the last 10 games, Winnipeg holds the third-worst expected goals against per 60 rate of 3.89 and has allowed an actual goals rate of 3.27. The Jets’ concerns in that aspect seem far from correctable.
Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele play a ton of big minutes and are amongst the league’s worst defensive forwards. Behind that, the Jets aren’t very strong, with Josh Morrissey truly being the only plus defender rostered this season.
However, offensively, the Jets are more capable and have continued to score effectively of late, with eight goals over the last two contests.
They get a great opponent here to play to that strength, and will likely create an output of three or more in this one.
Eric Comrie has been a quietly effective backup goalie, and I imagine he will get the second leg of this back-to-back. Comrie holds a +5.4 goals saved above expected rating, with a .912 save % through 13 games this season.
St. Louis Has Canadiens Improving Offensively
Montreal has continued to skate out a lost season, with a solid work-rate under new coach St. Louis. The Canadiens fought hard in a tough loss to their bitter rival Toronto on Saturday.
The results have still been far better than what we saw prior to St. Louis’ arrival, but the Canadiens have now started to regress — as you might expect — with a 3-5-2 record in their last 10.
Over those 10 games, Montreal has allowed a league-worst xGA/60 rate of 4.55 and has given up 4.0 goals against per game. The Canadiens have played a ton of high-octane offenses during the 10-game stretch, but their defensive play has been far from their strong suit all season long.
Offensively, we have seen the Canadiens surge under St. Louis, who has brought life to Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and the group as a whole. Montreal has scored effectively over its last 10 contests, producing a rate of 3.22 goals for per game.
Winnipeg vs. Canadiens Pick
Neither of these teams have defended overly well by any means of late, particularly the Jets. It’s easy for me to see Montreal managing another strong offensive output against the Jets on Monday, and I think we will see the Canadiens score 3 or more here.
But to see Montreal shutdown the Jets’ elite offensive stars would also be quite surprising, and this is a spot where it’s easy for me to see this game opening up.
I lean toward Montreal as a side — especially considering the price of +120 — but I feel most confident that this game should become relatively high scoring. I see the most value in backing the game total to go over 6.5, and I would play that down to -125.
Pick: Over 6.5 -110
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