NHL Hockey Betting: Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Western Conference action on Sunday’s betting board as the Winnipeg Jets continue a five game road trip as they play the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. The Jets have struggled to find momentum all season long and currently they’re 7 points out of the final Western Conference wildcard spot. Further complicating their quest–they play in the toughest division in hockey. The Central Division will likely get both of the West’s wildcard spots (San Jose and Calgary are the ‘best of the rest’ from the Pacific right now and they’re tied with the Jets). The Jets are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games and that’s not going to be good enough in a division where all seven teams are .500 or better.

The Anaheim Ducks have been one of the bigger stories of the NHL season so far–and not for a good reason. Last season’s Western Conference runner up has gone from a team that no one wanted to play to a very ‘beatable’ side. They started the season losing 9 of their first 10 games (1-7-2) scoring only 7 goals in the defeats. Even that paltry 0.77 goals per game average in the Ducks’ first nine losses doesn’t accurately convey their sputtering offense–the team ‘exploded’ for three goals in a 4-3 loss to Dallas on October 27. Translation–throw out that game and Dallas scored only 4 goals in eight losses for a 0.50 goals per game average. Ouch.

But to their credit, Anaheim has been finding ways to win hockey games lately–with defense. They’ve shot up the NHL goals against rankings over the past month and are currently #5 with a 2.4 goals against average. The problem is that they’re still dead last in scoring averaging 1.8 goals per game. They’re only showing incremental improvement there–over the past ten games they’ve averaged 2.3 goals per contest. They’re not much better on the power play (20th) though they have the best penalty kill in the league.

Ironically, the Jets would like to play more like the Ducks–they’re a team that wants to win with defense but they’ve not been that great at keeping enemy pucks out of their net this season. Winnipeg is #25 in goals against average this year to go along with the #29 power play and #25 penalty kill. They do have the #10 scoring offense. Generally, an even matchup but the price has us on the Jets.


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