by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Winnipeg Jets will have to buck some moneyline trends to keep their season alive. The Jets are the +140 underdog while the Calgary Flames are a -160 favourite with a 5.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Thursday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Jets are 4-11 in their last 15 games as an underdog of +130 or more, and are also 3-5 in their last eight playoff games as the underdog with the total finishing UNDER five times. The Flames are 9-4 in their last 13 games as a favourite, with the total finishing UNDER in five of the seven most recent games in that sample.
Flames vs Jets | OddsShark Matchup Report
Calgary can clinch the best-of-five qualifying round series with a victory Thursday. The Flames took a 2-1 series lead with a 6-2 win on Tuesday. It was the first time in six matchups that the total had finished OVER at online sports betting sites. The total has not gone OVER in consecutive Calgary-Winnipeg matchups since 2014-15.
The Flames’ greater depth has helped them grab the lead in the series. While they don’t have the edge in 5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage (46.4 percent), that is affected by the small sample size and a strategic preference for playing a safe rope-a-dope style once a lead is established. Calgary, paced by the 3M line of center Mikael Backlund and wings Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane, has taken 59.1 percent of shot attempts in tie-game situations. The Flames’ power play is 5-for-14 in the series, with multiple goals during both wins.
It is fair to wonder how Cam Talbot will stand up while making his fourth goaltending start in six days, but he has been superb in the series with a 2.02 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.
Backing the Jets means believing that their healthy top-end forwards, left wing Kyle Connor and right wing Blake Wheeler, will have breakout games. The pair are 11th and 14th among Jets players in chances-for percentage, according to naturalstattrick.com. Complementary scorers such as left wing Nikolaj Ehlers, who has scored goals in each of the past two games after going 0-for-22 to start his NHL postseason career, cannot pick up all of the slack with center Mark Scheifele and right wing Patrik Laine injured. The Jets’ power play is 2-for-15 in the series, and had only two opportunities during Game 3.
Connor Hellebuyck has a 3.38 goals-against average and .894 save percentage through three games. His five-on-five save percentage is .934, but that places the Jets only 13th out of 24 playoff teams in that category..