Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:15 PM EST.
Winnipeg +143 over EDMONTON
9:08 PM EST. OT Included. Tonight in the NHL playoffs, Colorado is a -350 favorite to beat St. Louis, Boston is -175 to beat Washington and the Hurricanes are -200 to beat Nashville. We’re not here to argue whether or not those prices are warranted. Instead, we’re merely pointing out that Edmonton is the smallest price on today’s board despite market perception being that Edmonton’s win expectation is as great as the other three massive favorites but they are not priced as such. Why?
Winnipeg is an under-the radar performer that does not get enough credit for their talent. Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nikolaj Ehlers, Blake Wheeler, Paul Stastny, Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele make up one of the league’s most prolific top-sixes and they are backed up by a third line that has been a revelation for Paul Maurice this season. Winnipeg’s defense is still an unmade bed, but the goalie tandem behind that blueline is near the top of the league. Winnipeg’s goaltending can pick up the team when the scoring goes cold and vice versa.
As expected, it’s the offense that is doing the heavy lifting for Dave Tippett. The Oilers are generating 2.53 xG per hour at 5-on-5 (fourth overall) and scoring 2.74 goals per 60 at 5-on-5 (fifth). That type of offensive production means the Oilers can survive a defense that is leaking 2.45 xGA/60 and 2.52 GA/60 but this is the playoffs so not everything is the same. Edmonton is a one-line team that gives up a bevy of chances. Winnipeg is much deeper and while both clubs are flawed defensively, it’s Connor Hellebuyck that gives the Jets the edge. Finally, a healthy Adam Lowry is the X-factor, as he’s the best in the biz at what he does and while it’s impossible to stop the dynamic duo, there isn’t a player in the league we’d rather have trying to contain them. Market perception is that Edmonton is the vastly superior team. We’re not in agreement with that one bit, as the Jets have snipers in spades, superior goaltending, and a major playoff pest in Lowry. As long as prices like this are being offered on the Jets or any team for that matter against the beatable Oilers, you can pencil us in every time.
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Winnipeg +143 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.86)