When you get to this stage of the season in the NHL, with the Stanley Cup Playoffs very visible on the horizon, every single game takes on a higher level of importance. Teams looking to win a division title and give themselves a solid seeding in the playoffs tend to raise the level of their game, while the teams scrambling to stay alive in the race to make it to the postseason either rise up or buckle under the pressure of the run in. There is a game on the Thursday night NHL calendar that is arguably the biggest match-up on what is a very busy schedule.
Not only are we getting a Metropolitan Division match-up, but we are also getting to see two teams fighting for a playoff spot go head to head, with the Columbus Blue Jackets hitting the road to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. There are just 2 points separating these teams in the standings, but those points are the difference between being in and out of the playoffs. The Penguins are favored by 1 ½ on home ice, with the point total for this one set at 6 ½.
Blue Jackets vs Penguins NHL Week 23 Odds & Game Info
“I think we need to up ourselves in the battles, but also relax and enjoy the game.” – Torts pic.twitter.com/v9ubSm8dak— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) 7 de marzo de 2019
- When: Thursday, March 7 at 7 PM EST
- Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
- TV: NBCSN
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Week 23 Odds: Pittsburgh Penguins -135 (Total 6.5)
Why bet on the Columbus Blue Jackets?
No team wants to be sitting below the playoff line with time running out on the regular season, but as far as situations go, the one that the Columbus Blue Jackets are facing is not that grim. Yes, they are out of the playoffs right now, but they are also just 2 points off the pace, with Pittsburgh being one of the teams that they are chasing. Furthermore, they are just 4 points back of the #3 spot in the division and just 6 back of second.
The standings in this division could change dramatically before all is said and done. At 14-7-1, the Blue Jackets have one of the best records against metropolitan foes, but they fall well short against Pittsburgh, who have beaten Columbus in 7 straight meetings. The Blue Jackets are a great pick against the spread on the road, going 21-10 ATS this season.
- Goals: 3.11
- Shots: 31.86
- PP/PK Percentage: 15.51
- Goals: 3.00
- Shots: 29.59
- PP/PK Percentage: 15.79
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins?
The Penguins have been streaky and inconsistent for major portions of the season, but they are on a run now that could lift them out of the Wild Card and into one of the automatic playoff berths. Coming into this one on Thursday night, the Penguins are on a run that has seen them win 7 of their last 10 games, taking their record on home ice to 18-12-2 in the process.
A win in this one could potentially lift the Penguins into 3rd in the Metropolitan Division and well within striking distance of the top. The Penguins have registered 6 straight wins over the Blue Jackets on home ice, but overall, they have not been a great ATS bet at home, going just 13-19.
- Goals: 3.47
- Shots: 32.73
- PP/PK Percentage: 25.42
- Goals: 3.09
- Shots: 33.45
- PP/PK Percentage: 20.11
Blue Jackets vs Penguins NHL Week 23 Betting Trends
- Columbus is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games on the road
- Columbus is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Columbus’s last 9 games
- Pittsburgh is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at home
- Pittsburgh is 13-6 SU in its last 19 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games at home
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for Blue Jackets vs Penguins
This is a match-up that tends to always deliver a lot of goals, so the OVER looks like a good bet here. I like the Penguins to get the win, although I think Columbus will keep it close.
Score: Columbus Blue Jackets 4 – Pittsburgh Penguins 5