Monday evening’s NHL postseason action will head north of the border for an elimination showdown between the home-bound Montreal Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets are trailing 3-0 in the North 2nd Round and on the verge of being sent home after allowing the Canadiens to dominate the early-series games, being outscored 11-4 in the process and only netting one goal in the last six periods of play.
Jets vs Canadiens Preview
Adam Lowry has two of Winnipeg’s four goals in this matchup, while Montreal goalie Carey Price has been the standout of the series for his team, pulling off 83 saves and maintaining a blocking 95.4% of the Jets’ attempts on goal.
The Jets were the victors of the season series, winning six of nine regular-season contests, though they now find themselves in a desperate hole. The Jets were a superior goal-scoring team compared to the Canadiens heading into the playoffs, but have suddenly gone cold on the ice.
The Canadiens have contrasted their regular season play with their postseason performance, winning six straight and looking like a well-oiled machine out on the rink. Three wins in the current streak proved deadly to the top-seed Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round of the playoffs, though it must be said that the Jets took down their supposed favorite opponents Edmonton Oilers in a clean sweep.
The winner of this series will take on the winner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes in the semifinal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with a spot on the biggest stage on the line. The Canadiens are the dominant force in the competition, having won 24 Stanley Cups and appeared in the final round another 10 times. The Jets, in comparison, are yet to find themselves in the promised land of hockey greatness.
Jets vs Canadiens Betting Odds
The Jets head into Game Four as +1.5 (-210) underdogs while the Canadiens find themselves with a -1.5 (+172) advantage. The money line is +132 for the Jets and -156 for the Canadiens, and the “over” of 5.5 has odds of +112 and is pitted against a -138 for the “under.”
Jets vs Canadiens Pick
In this situation, it is advisable to seriously consider taking the Jets. The reward for the bet is decent enough, and the Jets were, after all, the better team just a couple months ago. Look for the Jets to save their reputation and avoid a sweep, only to lose in five games at a later date.
Montreal played the underdog role in the first two contests while the Jets were rightly labeled the lesser of the teams in Game Three, meaning that it has been productive to bet against the favorite in this series.
So far in this series, the “over” has hit two times, while the 1-0 thriller in Game Two stands as the exception. Given that I expect the Jets to take the elimination game in Montreal, I would continue to take the “over” here as well.
The money line is not exceptionally inviting for either side of the affair, so betting a large sum would be taking a risk that would reap a small reward.
All in all, this series is a probing interrogation as to if you trust a total body of work, or if you prefer to look at recent history; if you are the former, back the Jets to respond in this series and cover in what would most likely be over 5.5 goals; if you are the latter, put your money on the Canadiens to slide into the next round behind sound defensive play.
Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for Betting Mid West and the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.