The Colorado Avalanche (50-14-6) keep their foot on the gas pedal as they fly in to face the Winnipeg Jets (33-28-10) Friday at Canada Life Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+). Below, we look at the Avalanche vs. Jets odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Avs keep picking up speed down the mountain, and nothing can stop them at this point. They have beaten the Pittsburgh Penguins (twice), Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings in their last 10 games – all playoff teams. They’re doing it without two of their best players in LW Gabriel Landeskog and C Nazem Kadri. Could this be a trap game, though?
The Jets sit eight points behind the Dallas Stars for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Someone forgot to tell them, though, as they have dropped their last three games, including two nights ago, 3-1, to the Detroit Red Wings.
Avalanche at Jets odds, spread and lines
- Money line: Avalanche -180 (bet $180 to win $100) | Jets +145 (bet $100 to win $145)
- Against the spread (ATS): Avalanche -1.5 (+135) | Jets +1.5 (-175)
- Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: +100 | U: -125)
Avalanche at Jets projected goalies
Pavel Francouz (13-3-1, 2.50 GAA, .918 SV%, 2 SO) vs. Connor Hellebuyck (25-25-9, 2.91 GAA, .912 SV%, 4 SO)
Darcy Kuemper could start here, but the Avs play the Edmonton Oilers Saturday so it would make more sense for Francouz to take this game. He’s not your average backup, and he beat the Jets in February while stopping 26 of 29 shots in a 6-3 victory.
Hellebuyck kinda rhymes with “help me out,” which he might be screaming after two tough-luck losses in April. He stopped 67 of 72 shots in the outings as the team lost 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday and 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings April 2. Colorado has blown him out twice this year, though, 6-3 (Feb. 25) and 7-1 (Jan. 6).
Doubling back, this does kind of feel like a trap game. Maybe Colorado overlooks the Jets with their sights set on Edmonton Saturday. There just isn’t any data to put money on it.
Colorado has won six of the last seven against the Jets by a combined score of 35-15. Colorado is only at -180, which is right around the cutoff for chalky favorites. It also leads me to believe the sportsbooks have a similar feeling about this being a trap game.
The Avs get it done, though, but I’d fade them against Edmonton Saturday. For now, take the AVALANCHE (-180).
Against the spread
If the Avs win, it’s going to be by multiple goals. So if you want to pass on the money line and hit the puck line harder, let’s see how things shake out. Colorado is 35-35 on the puck line this year. That seems mediocre, but you have to consider how many 6.5 Overs they’ve had to hit.
The Avs are 9-0 in their last nine games with two days’ rest, and five of the last six Avs’ wins over the Jets came by 2 or more goals. The price is ripe for the AVALANCHE -1.5 (+135).
The Over hit in both games between these two this year. It’s 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the two sides. The problem Friday is that Colorado is down two of its best players. The Avs have scored more than 3 goals just four times in their last 10 contests. That’s not a high enough frequency for me to feel comfortable with the Over because they’ll need to score 4 or more to hit it.
So why not take the Under? That trap game feeling gives me pause that the Jets could come out firing early. You can go with history and take the Over, but I’ll PASS.