Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST.
8:05 PM EST. Regulation only. There are so many things to like about the Jets here that we don’t know where to begin but let’s start with the fact that the Blue Notes defeated the Avalanche last night, 6-1 to bring their stock back up. Allow us to remind you that the Avs are without Nathan MacKinnon and although Mikko Rantanen played, he had missed the previous two games and was at half speed last night. Furthermore, Jonathan Bernier was on fire but the Avs went with Semyon Varlamov, who was also fresh off the rack after playing just his second game in five weeks.
The Blue Notes have won five of their last seven games but pretty it was not. The five wins occurred against Ottawa, Montreal, Colorado (x2) and Buffalo. Those are four teams that will be booking tee-off times in April. The only playoff-bound teams that the Blues have played over that stretch was Boston and Minnesota and the ice was tilted the entire game in Boston’s favor when they lost to the B’s. Not only was St. Louis dominated but that was the first game of their annual Dad’s trip and the B’s made them look like amateurs. Against Minnesota, The Blues were buried 6-1. Over their last 12 games, St. Louis has played Ottawa (x2), Colorado (x2), Florida and Arizona aside from the others mentioned above. Incidentally, when they hosted the Coyotes recently, St. Louis lost 5-2 and got outshot 44-27. They also lost to the Panthers, 7-4. Playing an easy stretch of games over their last 15 games, the Blue Notes analytics are miserable. They scored one goal against Buffalo recently in a 1-0 victory. That was after scoring once against Boston. St. Louis has six wins in 17 games against top 10 teams. Finally, after using Carter Hutton, there is a very good chance that the mentally fragile Jake Allen will get the call here. Even if he doesn’t, Winnipeg is still a great value play.
The two most important positions in hockey are goalie and center. In that regard, the Jets are loaded, as Connor Hellebuyck has been tremendous and consistent the entire season while the team is loaded in spades with centers. The Jets have fifth and sixth string centers that could crack the lineup on most teams. C Jack Roslovic (three goals in his last five games) and C Nic Petan, another highly touted player that scored on Tuesday and was a high draft pick, can’t get enough minutes between them. Adding to the Jets’ appeal here is the return of Mark Scheifele, who is not only great but he’s energetic, inspiring and does not relent for a second. Without Schiefele, Winnipeg ranked 3rd and 10th respectively in the NHL in 5v5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi Against per 60 minutes and Corsi For %. Its offensive metrics were good but will absolutely be better with Scheifele in. The Jets are loaded from top to bottom and on their worst day, we’d be happy to get behind them against the imposter Blue Notes and make no exception here.
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WINNIPEG -½ +110 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.20)