The series no one expected for the North Division Finals, the Winnipeg Jets vs. the Montreal Canadiens. The biggest shockers of the playoffs so far have been the Jets sweeping McDavid and the Oilers in the first round and the Habs knocking off the Toronto Maple Leafs in a seven game series. The biggest choke job of the playoffs as the Leafs blew a 3-1 series lead to Montreal.
Neither of these teams were very good closing out the regular season, especially in the weak North Division. The Jets limped into the playoffs only winning three of their last twelve games. The Habs were just as bad, only winning four of their last twelve and struggled offensively the whole season.
Both these teams proved though that the playoffs are a whole new season though so here we are for the second round. In the first round, the Jets leaned heavily on Connor Hellebuyck who was sensational in goal and their depth. Montreal also got some great goaltending in the first round with Carey Price, who struggled at times during the regular season, proving to make the difference worth his over $10 million per year contract.
During the regular season, the Jets went 6-3 in the nine games that they played against Montreal. Three of those wins came in overtime, while the other three covered the puck line. Interestingly, the three Habs wins were by multiple goals.
I expect this series to be a goaltending battle between Connor Hellebuyck and Carey Price and give the Jets an edge in the series with their defense and scoring depth, which was what gave them the sweep over the Oilers and it should be the same thing against Montreal’s young core of players. I’ll take the Jets to win the series for 2 units at -145. I should have jumped on them to win the East last week prior to Game 6 or 7 in the Toronto/Montreal series at +185 or +155, but I was assuming that the Leafs would win that series and I wouldn’t have liked the Jets as much against Toronto as I do against Montreal.
Since I think this series ends up being a defensive and goaltending battle, I’d lean the under in games in this series, but the trends through the regular season point the opposite way with the over going 7-2. So I’ll stay off of that at least for game 1 in the series.
I’m on the Jets ML for a unit in Game 1 tonight.
2u Jets (-145)
Game 1 Bets:
1u Jets ML (-140)