Jets vs. Canucks Odds
|Time | TV||Friday, 10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via PointsBet.|
In the North Division this season, there’s a significant divide between the teams willing to play with some discipline, and others that are fine with firewagon-style hockey.
The Jets and Canucks are definitely in the latter category, and they meet on Friday night in Vancouver in a game the books have determined to be a coinflip.
The Jets arrive in Vancouver after a pair of games with the Oilers. They managed a win in the first game despite blowing a pair of multi-goal leads before losing a tight one in the rematch. After the split, they’ve now won five games this season when they’ve given up 10 high-danger chances (HDCs) or more at even-strength.
The Jets have won 9 of their 16 games this season despite rating close to 11% below-average during 5-on-5 play according to my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, as heard on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast. Winnipeg is second-to-last in the North Division with an expected goals against (XGA) of 2.02 per game.
Offensively, the Jets have been hit or miss lately, with just one game where they had better than 1.5 expected goals for (XGF) at even-strength in the month of February. The Winnipeg power play lies in the middle-third of the NHL at 13th overall, so the Jets can’t be expected to rely on that to fill in the offensive gaps.
The Canucks their consistently mediocre selves defensively against the Flames last time out, allowing eight, nine, 10 and 12 even-strength HDCs. The Canucks were able to win two of the four games. Not surprisingly, the two wins came when they created 13 and 14 HDCs, and the two losses came when they could only muster seven HDCs in each game.
This was a stark reminder that this edition of the Canucks needs to score in bunches in order to win. The goaltending duo of Thatcher Demko and Braden Holtby ranks 48th and 46th in Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA), respectively. So it’s safe to say, confidence in the goaltenders to keep the score low may be limited.
Even with the loose approach defensively and lackluster goaltending, the Canucks still rate slightly above the Jets at 9% below average at even-strength. They also have a victory in the one matchup between the two teams this season. Vancouver converted three of their seven HDCs in that game, and only surrendered three such chances to the Jets in the 4-1 win in Winnipeg.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Canucks’ split with Calgary came as a surprise to the betting market, which has been dropping their rating of Vancouver throughout the season. Returning home should give Vancouver the edge over a team it’s step-for-step with in the ratings, given that home teams are winning at a nearly 60% clip this season.
Yet, sportsbooks opened this game as essentially a pick’em. My numbers make the Canucks the winner a true 52.5% of the time. Given the fair value on the home side in what should be something of a track meet, I’ll take the Canucks here as long as we can get that reasonable price.
Pick: Canucks (-115 or better)