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NHL Playoffs Avalanche at Jets Game 1 Betting Preview

Offense vs Defense in This Series

It’s a sometimes overstated cliché, but the Avalanche at Jets Game 1 betting matchup truly is your traditional offense vs. defense matchup. Colorado led the NHL in goals/game this season (3.7) while Winnipeg was slightly behind Florida in goals against (2.28).

Oddsmakers have priced Game 1 very closely, with the home ice Jets the -115 favorite while Colorado is at -105. It’s hard to put a total on an offense vs. defense contest, so 5.5 could either go well below or soar over. 55% of the betting public like Winnipeg, probably giving the lean to being at home.

Why Colorado Has Value Sunday

The Avalanche have three players on offense that score more than Winnipeg’s top offensive threat. Nathan Mackinnon scored 51 goals and dished out 89 assists and his 140 points were the second most in the league this season. Mackinnon is the overwhelming favorite to take home the Hart Trophy.

Mackinnon is far from Colorado’s only threat on offense, with Mikko Rantanen tallying 104 points which was 8th best in the NHL while Cale Makar had the second most points by a defenseman with 90.

While the Avalanche offense has very few weaknesses, goaltending is a different story. Alexander Georgiev had the 5th best save percentage in the league and had a 3.02 GAA which isn’t many considering what his offense can score – but he’s struggled lately. Georgiev has allowed 4+ goals in five of his last six which isn’t the momentum you want heading into the playoffs.

Why Winnipeg Has Value Sunday

While the Colorado goaltending has been shaky down the stretch, it’s Winnipeg’s strength. Connor Hellebuyck faced the third most shots in the league this year and still came out with the 4th best GAA (2.39) and 2nd best save percentage (.921) making him the favorite for the Vezina Trophy.

The fact that Georgiev has allowed 4, 4, 2, 6, 6, and 4 goals in his last six starts gives Winnipeg’s offense the chance to be a difference maker in Game 1 instead of just their goaltender. The Jets are a middle of the pack offense led by Mark Scheifele’s 72 points, but when the opposing netminder is struggling with his confidence that makes any skater’s eyes get wider.

Winnipeg has also scored 4+ goals in seven of their last eight – all eight of those games which were a win. The Jets not only closed out the year on a hot streak, they dominated Colorado this year getting the sweep by scores of 7-0, 6-2, and 4-2. Two of the wins against the Avs this year were on the road, and the Jets were also a very good home team at 27-11-3.

Free Avalanche vs Jets Game 1 Betting Pick

Winnipeg would be a lean because of how well Hellebuyck has played in net, but he’s also allowed 3+ goals in six of his last 10 starts of the regular season and that Avalanche offense will brutalize you. It’s also hard to play Colorado because of the way their starting goaltender looked down the stretch so the best route here is on the total.

Free Pick: Over 5.5

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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