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Jets Look To Move One Step Closer To Playoff Spot

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/21/2013 7:37:28 PM

The Winnipeg Jets are on the bubble in the NHL Eastern Conference playoff race. There isn’t much room for error the rest of the way. The Jets were tied with the eighth-place New York Rangers at 48 points, and just two points back of the Washington Capitals for top spot in the Southeast division entering this past sports betting weekend. Next up for Winnipeg is a date with the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, with the chance to close the gap between them and the Capitals ahead of a potential first-place showdown in the nation’s capital on the following night.

Winnipeg Jets @ Buffalo Sabres
Monday April 22, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
NHL Sportsbook Line: Buffalo – 130

The Sabres are also mathematically still in the hunt for that eighth and final playoff spot, but will need a win over Winnipeg to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Buffalo has won three-straight and six of its last eight to stay in the hunt, and they will give the Jets a very tough test as the regular season continues to wind down.

NHL Betting Preview: Winnipeg Jets

The online betting numbers wouldn’t suggest that Winnipeg is a team in the hunt for a playoff spot, as they have been relatively mediocre right across the board. The Jets rank 14th in goals per game and just 23rd in points per game allowed, and their special teams have actually been below the average line as they rank 28th on the powerplay and 24th on the penalty kill. However, Winnipeg has managed to remain in the hunt thanks to a determination and the ability to win some close games, and that’s what they will need down the stretch. Captain Andrew Ladd has led the way with 18 goals and 26 assists, but he will need his teammates to step up and help get it done the rest of the way.

NHL Betting Preview: Buffalo Sabres

An awful start to the season and stretches of inconsistency plagued a Sabres’ team that many thought would take a step forward this year, and it may be too late to make a run. Buffalo’s best players didn’t play like leaders throughout the year, and this recent stretch has proven they are more than capable of winning games. The future of goaltender Ryan Miller is in question as it is hard to predict whether the team will stick with him as long as Jhonas Enroth is there to provide a more consistent option at a cheaper price. The Sabres also need to find a way to score more goals, as they have too much talent to rank near the bottom of the league in powerplay percentage.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

As good as Buffalo has been of late, there is not enough time to catch the Rangers for that final playoff spot. That leaves the Sabres looking to play spoiler, but the Jets are a desperate team that has found ways to win close games all year and should be able to steal the important two points to bolster its postseason chances.

NHL Betting Pick: Winnipeg Jets

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