by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Winnipeg Jets have been among the top teams in the NHL’s Western Conference over the past two seasons. But as the clock ticks down to puck drop on the upcoming campaign, unfinished business has tempered expectations at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, where the Jets trail the favourites at +450 to claim the Central Division title.
2018/19 Points Total: 99
2019/20 Points OVER/UNDER: 95.5
Odds to Win Division: +450
Odds to Win Conference: +700
Odds to Win Stanley Cup: +1600
Winners of 47 games last season to finish just one point back of the first-place Nashville Predators in the Central Division standings, the Jets were unable to duplicate the playoff success that powered them to a berth in the 2018 Western Conference Final. Riding a 3-5-1 run into the playoffs, Winnipeg was quickly bounced in the first round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.
Faced with an imminent salary cap crunch, the Jets wasted no time in dealing pending unrestricted free agent forward Kevin Hayes and disgruntled restricted free agent defenceman Jacob Trouba following their playoff ouster. Winnipeg also allowed veteran rearguard Tyler Myers to leave town as a UFA, while focusing their efforts on getting RFA forwards Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine signed to contract extensions.
But with both Connor and Laine still unsigned as the Jets get set to open training camp, concerns linger about who will handle the goal scoring in Winnipeg this season. With a combined 64 goals, the free agent duo accounted for almost 25% of the Jets’ scoring in 2018/19. And with Laine, the second overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, remaining the subject of trade speculation, the Jets look toward opening night sporting a projected win point total of 95.5, with -115 odds favouring the UNDER.
Further complicating matters for the Jets is the steady improvement among the club’s Central Division rivals. In addition to the Predators and the Blues, Winnipeg will have to contend with a Colorado Avalanche team that is expected to enjoy a breakthrough in the upcoming season.
The Avalanche turned the corner late last season, grabbing the second Western Conference wild card before shocking the top-seeded Calgary Flames in a first-round playoff series upset, and have since vaulted to +300 favourites on the NHL odds to win the division.
And while Winnipeg remains a strong -220 wager to make the playoffs for a third straight year, they have failed to gain momentum on the Stanley Cup odds, where they continue to lag behind the favourites as a +1600 bet.