The Winnipeg Jets are four points out of a playoff spot with 22 games remaining.
If the Jets are going to make a serious push in a tight Western Conference playoff race, they are going to need to pick up some crucial points over the next eight days.
Winnipeg, which has won three of its past four to close the gap on the final wild-card spot, will play six of its next seven games on home ice, including two games against the team that they are chasing for eighth in the West in the Vegas Golden Knights.
With the Golden Knights really struggling over the past couple of weeks, can the Jets take advantage tonight as a small favourite?
Here’s the TSN EDGE Morning Coffee for Tuesday March 15, 2022.
Jets begin crucial stretch versus Vegas
Winnipeg will play Vegas twice over the next eight days.
If they can win both of those games against the Golden Knights, it could go a long way towards improving their playoff chances.
As of this morning, six teams are separated by just four points in the standings in the race for that final Wild Card spot.
The Jets are currently four points back of Vegas and the Edmonton Oilers, which are which are tied for third in the Pacific Division with 68 points, with the Oilers holding two games in hand on the Golden Knights.
Winnipeg, which could be found as high as +1200 to make the playoffs coming off a 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday night, dropped all the way back down to +750 to make the playoffs following a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
In addition to playing the Golden Knights twice, the Jets will get the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes on home ice between now and March 30.
They’ll also play road games at the Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres.
For what it’s worth, only three of those next eight games are against opponents that are currently in a playoff spot, with two of them against a Vegas side that has lost four straight and is 3-7-0 over its last 10 games.
The Jets are currently a -125 favourite for tonight’s game against the Golden Knights.
With a favourable schedule, how Winnipeg performs over the next seven days should have a significant impact on how the team approaches the NHL trade deadline.
If they can begin this crucial stretch with a win over Vegas tonight, it should lead to another major adjustment to their playoff odds.
Coyotes stay hot in Monday’s lone NHL game
Lawson Crouse became the eighth player in franchise history to score at even strength, on the powerplay and shorthanded as the Arizona Coyotes beat the Ottawa Senators 5-3 in the lone NHL game on the schedule Monday night.
🗣 SAY IT LOUD pic.twitter.com/BUUqYcR6I2— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 15, 2022
Despite being held to just 15 shots, Arizona scored five goals.
The Coyotes have now scored five or more goals in four of their last five games and are 5-1-0 in the month of March.
Meanwhile, the Senators have now scored three goals or more in four straight games, going over on their team total for the fourth game in a row.
However, Ottawa has also allowed five or more goals in back-to-back losses to Arizona and the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Senators are back in action on Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
KAT, Curry, and Young deliver monster performances
Steph Curry and Trae Young went off for 47 points and 46 points, respectively to lead their teams to wins on Monday night.
Karl-Anthony Towns topped both, becoming just the fifth centre in NBA history to score 60 points in a game.
Karl-Anthony Towns is the first center with a 60-point game since Shaquille O'Neal did it on his 28th birthday in 2000 (March 6, 2000). pic.twitter.com/Ybiu69w9G1— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 15, 2022
Towns, who finished with 60 points and 17 rebounds in a 149-139 win over the San Antonio Spurs, became the first centre to hit that point total since Shaquille O’Neal did it on his birthday in 2000.
Curry celebrated his 34th birthday with 47 points, six assists and six rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors (-12) to a 126-112 win over the Washington Wizards.
Steph Curry celebrated his 34th birthday with a game-high 47 points against the Wizards! 🎂 🥳— TSN EDGE (@TSN_Edge) March 15, 2022
25+ Points +100 💰
30+ Points +280 💰
35+ Points +750 💰
The Warriors (-12) beat Washington 126-112! https://t.co/EYM6QvL1CM
Shout out to the entire TSN EDGE club for riding Curry’s alternate points props with me, including our guy Christian Marin who also pointed out Curry’s combined points, rebounds and assists prop at 33.5, and “The Big E” Eric Cohen, who gives the TSN EDGE club every night of the week and still shouts us out when we give him one winning angle.
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 https://t.co/dK68yHl16D— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) March 15, 2022
Meanwhile, Young went for 46 points, 12 assists and six rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 122-113.
Young, who scored 47 against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, became the first Hawks’ player to register consecutive 45-point games since Dominique Wilkins in 1988.
Raptors cruise to win, cover In L.A.
Scottie Barnes cashed the over on his points prop early in the second quarter as the Toronto Raptors (-5) cruised to a 114-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
🚨 Scottie Barnes over 15.5 points has already cashed early in the 2nd quarter in LA!💰🔥 pic.twitter.com/XTiaLXVcak— TSN EDGE (@TSN_Edge) March 15, 2022
Gary Trent Jr. scored a game-high 28 points with five rebounds and three assists. Pascal Siakam went for 27 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
Toronto has followed up three straight losses with four straight wins to open a five-game west coast road trip.
Raptors -5 was never in doubt! 💰😅 pic.twitter.com/JvqUE5JR7a— TSN EDGE (@TSN_Edge) March 15, 2022
Suddenly, the Raptors are just one game back of the Cleveland Cavaliers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Over the last four days, Toronto went from -190 to -325 to make the playoffs.
Jokic gets win in battle of MVP favourites
Joel Embiid scored a game-high 34 points, but it wasn’t enough as Nikola Jokic scored a team-high 22 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Denver Nuggets (+3) to a 114-110 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Jokic throws a one handed full-court DIME!— NBA (@NBA) March 15, 2022
Watch Now on ESPN pic.twitter.com/vfTvwRZNcn
The final head-to-head meeting between the top two choices to win NBA MVP didn’t have any impact on the betting odds, either.
Embiid remains the favourite to win that award at -130, while Jokic is a close second choice at +140.
Aye jokic. That was a DIME. pic.twitter.com/KuxwwPYeAv— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) March 15, 2022
No other player has shorter odds than Giannis Antetokounmpo at +950.
First Four gets underway tonight
The March Madness is about to get underway with two “First Four” games tonight and two tomorrow.
As of this morning, Texas Southern is a 3.5-point favourite versus Texas A&M-CC, with the total at 136.
Indiana is a four-point favourite versus Wyoming, with the total at 133.
NFL free agency reaction
The Jacksonville Jaguars were the biggest spenders on the opening day of NFL free agency on Monday.
The Jaguars' spending spree today (so far):— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 14, 2022
WR Christian Kirk: 4-years, $72M ($84M max)
LB Foye Olukon: 3-years, $45M
NT Foley Fatukasi: 3-years, $30M
G Brandon Scherff: TBD but definitely a ton of money
TE Evan Engram: 1-year, $10M max
The Jaguars overhauled their offence by signing guard Brandon Scherff, wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, as well as tight end Evan Engram.
While a lot was made about the number that Kirk received, Jacksonville’s free agent haul led to some slight adjustments in NFL futures markets.
Jalen Ramsey & Darius Slay react to Christian Kirk’s new contract 👀 pic.twitter.com/hQeeTu20Fi— PFF (@PFF) March 14, 2022
The Jaguars went from 100-to-1 to 70-to-1 to win the Super Bowl.
They went from +550 to +490 to win the AFC South.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed quarterback Mitch Trubisky to replace the retired Ben Roethlisberger.
Thank you Steelers! I know Pittsburgh fans are going freak out, but I think Mitch Trubisky is a good bridge situation. Tough division, can't go into this season with Rudolph and Haskins.— Joy Taylor (@JoyTaylorTalks) March 14, 2022
The Steelers, which were rumoured to be in the market for Deshaun Watson among others this off-season, went from 55-to-1 to 70-to-1 to win the Super Bowl following the deal.
The Los Angeles Chargers also made a splash by signing top free agent cornerback J.C. Jackson, who joins Khalil Mack among their offseason adds.
Khalil Mack + J.C. Jackson 👀— PFF (@PFF) March 15, 2022
The Chargers are making MOVES ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/geCaFWkw5T
The Chargers, which opened at 24-to-1 to win the Super Bowl, are now down 15-to-1 to win it all this season.