Free NHL Picks: Blue Jackets at Hurricanes Odds
by George Monroy - 1/27/2014
The Columbus Blue Jackets changed their entire season with the longest winning streak in franchise history. The Blue Jackets were riding an eight-game winning streak and had won 12 of their last 15 matchups before Saturday’s game against the league-worst Buffalo Sabres. Columbus ended up dropping the game in an unexpected blowout loss, but it did position itself as a playoff contender during its hot streak and moved into the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.
The Carolina Hurricanes are on a hot streak of their own, having won nine of their last 11 matchups to go along with their current three-game winning streak. Carolina trails the Blue Jackets by a point in the playoff standings and will be looking to take advantage of its favorable schedule when the team starts a stretch against Columbus where it will play five of its next six games at home. Let’s take a closer look at the Blue Jackets versus Hurricanes matchup with predictions and analysis.
Blue Jackets at Hurricanes Betting Story Lines
Columbus’ start to 2014 has been nothing short of spectacular. The team outscored its opponents 31-17 during its recent eight-game winning streak and is averaging 3.18 goals per game during the month. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed only 12 goals during his last five starts and continues to be one of the main catalysts behind Columbus improved play over the last month.
Columbus, however, is coming off a three-goal loss to the Sabres where the squad gave up five goals on 22 shot attempts while managing to score only two goals on a whopping 38 attempts of its own. Team points leader Ryan Johansen has two goals and one assist over his last five games, which is a testament to how well the team has been playing, since it went on a long winning streak while its best player was in a bit of a slump.
The Hurricanes have won three straight games and four of their last five over the last eight days. The squad scored 17 goals in that span, while goaltender Anton Khudobin continues to be a solid force in front of the net, stopping 123 shot attempts and allowing only 12 goals during his last five matchups. Overall, Carolina still allows 2.8 goals per game, which is ranked 16th in the NHL. However, if the team continues its excellent, defensive-minded play, that number will surely fall as the season wears on.
After winning nine of 11 games to start 2014, Carolina has positioned itself to compete for a playoff spot in the East. The team is only four points behind the fifth spot in the conference and one point away from the eighth. If the squad can take advantage of its upcoming home-heavy schedule, where it currently has a 12-10-5 record, Carolina could find itself in a very good situation when the postseason begins.
Blue Jackets at Hurricanes NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Carolina opened as a small -116 favorite over the +105 underdog Blue Jackets at BetOnline. The total was set 5.5 goals, with the “under” being favored at -125. Carolina is 4-0 over its recent games on one day of rest and 4-1 over its last five games against teams with losing road records. The team is also 4-1 over its last five overall games and 8-2 over its last 10 versus the Eastern Conference. Carolina has gone under in six of its last nine Monday games.
Columbus is 4-0 during its last four games following a loss of three goals or more and 6-0 over its last six matchups against teams with a losing home record. The team is also 4-0 in its recent matchups versus the Metropolitan Division and 8-1 over its last nine overall games.
Head-to-head, Columbus is 7-0 over the last seven overall meetings and 4-1 during the last five matchups in Carolina.
Free NHL Picks: Blue Jackets at Hurricanes Predictions
Both teams are playing excellent hockey over the last few weeks, and I expect that trend to continue into this matchup. The biggest area that both squads have excelled at has been on offense. Carolina scored a whopping 14 goals in its last three games, while Columbus has scored 12 goals in the same span. The “over” seems to be the best play to make on tonight’s matchup. The bet is getting a positive payout, and both teams have been on an offense tear as of late.
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