Busy Weekend Action Ahead For Canadian NHL Teams
Winnipeg As Heavy Home Favourites All Weekend
Friday only sees one game with a Canadian team involved and that's the Winnipeg Jets at home hosting Colorado. The Jets are one of the three Canadian franchises currently on their way to the playoffs and as -225 favourites at SportsInteraction.com, oddsmakers are expecting the Jets to take care of business rather easily tonight. Winnipeg is also one of the three teams that has to play twice this weekend, as they'll likely be priced in a similar range as home favourites on Sunday when they host the Florida Panthers.
Friday's game against the Avalanche is the eighth in a row at home for the Jets as they are getting closer to wrapping up this season-long 10-game homestand. The results haven't quite been as expected with a 4-3 SU record so far, but the schedule has been tough with great teams like Tampa Bay (W), Las Vegas (L), St Louis (L), and Washington (W) coming to town. Colorado has been here already as well during this homestand and the 3-0 Winnipeg win as -178 favourites that day has likely influenced tonight's spike in the odds.
However, I am not interested in the slightest in laying that kind of chalk with the Jets on Friday as it's not easy to beat the same opponent twice in such a short span, especially when the line is a little inflated. In fact, I see quite a bit of value in backing the Avalanche at +180 on Friday as inconsistent play has plagued the Jets this entire homestand. It's highly possible that the Jets fall short on Friday before bouncing back and beating Florida on Sunday, and that's how I'd approach this weekend from a betting perspective for Winnipeg games.
Toronto's On The Road On Saturday AND Sunday
The only Canadian team holding down a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference at the moment are the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto has won four in a row, and nine of 10, but they head out on the road for games in Pittsburgh and Detroit on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Without question the challenge against the defending champs will be the tougher task, but the Leafs are 1-0 SU vs. Pittsburgh already this year. But regardless of how that game goes, it puts the Leafs in a tough spot against Detroit on Sunday as chances are the majority of their focus will be on Pittsburgh heading into this weekend.
If that turns out ot be the case, attacking both Toronto games from a betting perspective may prove to be highly lucrative. Toronto will be getting some form of plus-money against the Penguins and depending on how high the price is, the Leafs will be worth a look. However, the opposite can be said for Sunday's game as it will be Detroit who's likely getting the plus-money odds, and with a tired (physically and mentally) Toronto team in town, backing the hometown Red Wings would be the play from a situation standpoint. Keep that in mind this weekend.
Calgary Gets One Very Winnable Home Game
As the third and final Canadian team currently in playoff position, the Calgary Flames are only in action once this weekend as they host Florida on Saturday night. The Panthers head to Winnipeg the following day (another reason to look at playing ON the Jets on Sunday), but this Panthers team could give Calgary quite a fight. It's not the most ideal spot for the Flames - who will be heavy favourites - as they return home after a successful 4-2 SU road trip that finished up on Thursday night.
Calgary's also got lingering concerns with the health of G Mike Smith if he ends up getting back between the pipes, and if the Flames come in anywhere near the -200 range, I'm likely inclined to look the other way. Florida would love to get revenge for a 4-2 loss at the beginning of January to the Flames, and if the value is there, backing Florida on the ML or even on the +1.5 puck line may prove to be a winner by night's end.
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