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Avalanche vs Jets: Can You Cash in on Underdog NY?

A pair of top Central Division teams will clash in the first round of the playoffs when the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets meet in a best-of-seven series beginning Sunday. After finishing the regular season on an eight-game winning streak, the Jets grabbed the second-place spot in the division, while Colorado stumbled to the finish, falling in five of its final eight to place third.

The series will see one of the top offenses go against one of the league’s top defenses, which should make for an exciting and potentially long first round for the two, and though Winnipeg secured the higher seed and home ice, NHL odds tonight have both teams as even favorites to win the first game. However, the Jets are riding momentum and took care of Colorado in the regular season, and are a nice play to do the same in the postseason.

Avalanche vs Jets: Can You Cash in on Underdog NY?
Sean Monahan #23 of the Winnipeg Jets/Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP


Avalanche vs Jets: Polar Opposites

The Avalanche’s top offense will be meeting Winnipeg’s top defense in the series, and only time will tell which will prevail, but it should be a fun series finding out.

Colorado finished the season averaging 3.68 goals a game for first in the league, despite some issues ending the season. The Avalanche lost five of their final eight games after their offense couldn’t quite keep up with their opponents, averaging 3.13 goals a game. However, Colorado remains in good hands and should find a way to get back on track, as two of its top three scorers are in the top 10 in points in the NHL, with Nathan MacKinnon second with 140 points and Mikko Rantanen eighth with 104. Defenseman Cale Makar rounded out the top three with a solid 90 points in the regular season.

Looking to slow down the Avalanche’s hot offense will be the defense of Winnipeg, which held teams to 2.42 goals a game to tie for first in the league. Josh Morrissey was one of the league’s top defensemen this season, and he was a reliable creator as well, leading the Jets with 59 assists. Together with Dylan DeMelo, they help lock it down in front of Winnipeg’s goalies to help keep teams from scoring.

All this explains why both teams are set at even -110 odds on our latest NHL lines for the first game.


The Goalie Gap

One of the reasons the Jets were able to sweep Colorado in the regular season, including a shutout just a week ago, was their strong goalie play, which could make a difference in this series.

Winnipeg leads the NHL in save percentage (.923) while it’s tied for second with eight shutouts, and while Connor Hellebuyck is a key reason for that, there’s also not a dropoff from backup Laurent Brossoit. Hellebuyck is in the top five in the NHL allowing 2.39 goals a game on a .921 save percentage and is recently coming off that shutout against the Avalanche with 30 saves, but Brossoit has been solid when needed as well. In 23 games this season, he has 15 wins, giving up just two goals a game on a .927 save percentage.

The same can’t be said for Colorado, as starter Alexander Georgiev hasn’t had the best season. Georgiev has allowed 3.02 goals a game while recording a .897 save percentage, both ranking in the bottom half of the league. Though backup Justus Annunen has been better for the Avalanche with a .928 save percentage and allowing 2.25 goals a game, he has just 14 games under his belt this season, and Colorado will need to rely on its starter to make it through the first round and potentially farther.

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Avalanche vs Jets Pick: Winnipeg Gets the Upset

Though many NHL expert picks are going with the offensively gifted Avalanche, the Jets are a good NHL moneyline pick as an underdog.

Winnipeg closed out the regular season hot and had its way with the Avalanche in the regular season, and the gap in goaltenders could play a role in the series, especially if it goes deep. Colorado’s defense also showed some holes down the line, allowing 4.2 goals a game in its last five, and the Jets should have a good shot at taking advantage of that once more to sneak past the Avalanche in seven.


NHL Prediction: Jets win series in seven games




Questions Of The Day

What is the Jets’ record at home?

Winnipeg is 27-11-3 at home in the regular season.

Where is the first game of the series taking place?

The first game will begin at 7 p.m. ET on April 21 at Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg.

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