Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins Free NHL Picks & Odds
by Guy Bruhn - 4/15/2014
Wednesday, April 16, 7:30 PM on NBCS, CBC, FSOH, ROOT
CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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The Blue Jackets are big underdogs as the wild card in their first round playoff matchup against #2 seed Pittsburgh, especially considering the season series went 5-0 Penguins. Either way, Columbus won 4 of their last 5 to enter the playoffs and aim to shock the world. Pittsburgh lost their last two regular season games but this is a team built for the postseason, with eyes on the bigger prize.
Columbus finished tied with Detroit at 93 points in the regular season but their 43 wins bested the Red Wings' 39 helping the Blue Jackets avoid Boston in round 1. It's not much of a consolation prize having to face the Penguins, who have been dominant against Columbus both home and away. Many experts are picking a 4-game Pittsburgh sweep but the Blue Jackets may turn that into the motivation they need for the upset.
Pittsburgh made it to the conference finals last season but were swept out by the Bruins 4-0. They want to return this year and will look to play as few games as possible on the way with a veteran-laden roster. The Penguins went just 5-5 to close out the year but that was due largely in part to being in comfortable possession of the two seed.
The most recent of Pittsburgh's 5 wins against Columbus came on March 28th with the Penguins winning 2-1 as +105 underdogs. Prior to that Pittsburgh outscored the Blue Jackets 7-2 on back-to-back nights in November and also won 2 games in December 2-1 and 5-3.
Columbus is 21-20 straight up on the road this season
Columbus is 17-21-2 against the over/under on the road this season
Pittsburgh is 28-12 straight up at home this season
Pittsburgh is 21-18-2 against the over/under at home this season
Injuries to Watch
10/17/13 LW Cody Bass Thumb out indefinitely
04/11/14 RW Nathan Horton Abdominal expected to miss 6 weeks
04/07/14 LW R.J. Umberger Shoulder out indefinitely
04/04/14 LW Nick Foligno Lower Body out indefinitely
12/23/13 RW Pascal Dupuis Knee out for season
04/15/14 RW Chris Conner Foot is upgraded to questionable Wednesday vs. Columbus
04/15/14 C Evgeni Malkin Foot is upgraded to probable Wednesday vs. Columbus
04/15/14 C Joe Vitale Abdominal is upgraded to probable Wednesday vs. Columbus
03/29/14 C Marcel Goc Foot expected to miss 3 weeks
Guy's Pick: Take Pittsburgh
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