An all-Canadian matchup will highlight Western Conference play-in series action when the NHL returns to the ice this summer. And the Calgary Flames have emerged as early favourites in their upcoming clash with the Winnipeg Jets, sporting -125 odds on the NHL series prices at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Both Calgary and Winnipeg were enjoying steady runs when the NHL suspended play back on March 12. A 9-5-1 stretch had lifted the Flames into third place in the Pacific Division, while the Jets seized control of the top wild card in the West by going 12-5-2 over their most recent 19 games.
But while Winnipeg edged out the Flames by a single point in the standings, it is Calgary that owns the higher seed at No. 8 due to its lead over the Jets in points percentage. Despite that misfortune, the No. 9 Jets remain a +105 bet on the NHL series prices after posting wins in four of their past six meetings with Calgary, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
The Edmonton Oilers have been subject to a similar misfortune. Sitting in second place in the Pacific Division with 83 points, fourth best in the Western Conference, the Oilers have been denied a spot among the top four seeds after falling short on points percentage. As a result, the Oilers will have to earn their playoff spot with a best-of-five series win when they battle the No. 12 Chicago Blackhawks as -145 chalk.
After finishing near the bottom of the NHL standings in each of the past two seasons, the Oilers have enjoyed a resurgence this season. The team has shown particular character since the start of 2020, going 17-8-5 in their most recent 30 games. That success had been particularly sweet considering it had come while the club endured a rash of injuries to the likes of Connor McDavid, James Neal, Oscar Klefbom, and newly-acquired rearguard Mike Green.
However, the Oilers cannot afford to look past the No. 12 Blackhawks, who sport surprisingly solid +125 odds on the series prices at sports betting sites. Chicago entered the pause on a 5-2-0 run, and has earned at least a point in seven of its last nine meetings with Edmonton.
Elsewhere on the Western Conference series prices, the Vancouver Canucks prepare to face the Minnesota Wild as -140 betting favourites, while the other series in the West has the Nashville Predators battling the Arizona Coyotes as a -140 wager on the NHL odds.
The Canucks seized the No. 7 seed despite entering the pause on a worrisome 2-5-0 slide, and have posted just two wins in their last seven meetings with No. 10 Minnesota.