NHL Odds & Picks for Blue Jackets-Red Wings: Columbus Price Too Short on Tuesday Night

NHL Odds & Picks for Blue Jackets-Red Wings: Columbus Price Too Short on Tuesday Night article feature image

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images. Pictured: Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins

  • The Blue Jackets are a slight road underdog against the Red Wings on Tuesday night, as Columbus tries to build on its hot start to the season.
  • The Jackets were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league this season, but Nicholas Martin sees them as a cut above some of the other cellar-dwellers.
  • Get his full Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets pick and preview below.

Blue Jackets at Red Wings Odds

Blue Jackets Odds+105
Red Wings Odds-125
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up the minute NHL odds here.

The Red Wings and Blue Jackets came into the season expected to finish well outside the playoff picture. Someone forgot to tell them that, though, as the teams have combined to collect seven of a possible eight points combined.

Is that just the nature of a league showing more parity than ever or are positive results possibly somewhat sustainable for either (or both) of these clubs?

Columbus Blue Jackets

Things are coming up roses for first-year head coach Brad Larsen so far. After an impressive preseason, the Blue Jackets are perfect through their first two games.

Everybody expected the Blue Jackets to have a lot of issues scoring goals this season, but that hasn't been the case thus far. It was fair to wonder if Patrik Laine, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Max Domi and Jack Roslovic would improve under Larsen after playing under the defensive-minded Tortorella, and so far the returns are encouraging. Those four players have combined for 14 points over the two contests and the Jackets have scored a total of 10 goals.

Jakub Voracek, who was acquired this summer, has found some strong chemistry with Laine and the two scoring wingers have skated to a 62.5% expected goals rate in a very, very small sample.

I still believe this group of forwards will be a weakness compared to the elite teams in the Eastern Conference, but if the aforementioned players continue to play well, the Jackets could surprise.

With that said, this team's strength still figures to be an underrated defense that succeeds thanks to a tireless work-rate in front of Elvis Merzlikins. We caught a glimpse of that on Sunday, when the Jackets held Seattle to just one goal on 1.52 xG in a 2-1 overtime win.

Elvis Merzlikins has been great through his first contests, posting a .948 save percentage and stopping 2.5 goals above expected.

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings long rebuilding process appears to be coming to fruition with talented youngsters Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond in the fold full-time. Although the team is expected to struggle in the Atlantic Division, they have collected three points out of a possible four to start the campaign.

But when you look at this roster through the scope of a whole season, it still comes up short in a number of areas.

The offensive depth is seen to be an area of concern, and I think justifiably so, especially with Jakub Vrana out long-term. There is some upside with guys like Raymond, and Pius Suter in support of the more established NHL'ers like Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi, but ultimately it seems like a lot of pieces will need to play to their maximum potential slotted where they are in the lineup for the Wings to not be overmatched upfront a lot of nights.

Detroit could see some modest improvements on the blueline with Seider and Nick Leddy now a part of a unit that is playing in front of a strong netminding tandem featuring Alex Nedeljkovic and Thomas Greiss.

Nedeljkovic is the headliner after finishing third in Calder Trophy voting with Carolina last season, but I do think he will regress a bit after posting a .869 SV% on high-danger shots last season. I believe that the scoring chances he saw playing behind a strong Carolina team will pale in comparison to the defensive breakdowns he'll have to fight off in Detroit.

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Blue Jackets vs. Red Wings  Pick

Before their opener against the Coyotes I thought the Jackets were being a bit underrated, especially compared to other potential cellar-dwellers. The Jackets just have more upside than the other longshots. The Jackets' 8-2 thrashing of Arizona and 2-1 win over Seattle are certainly steps in the right direction.

The Red Wings have a much stronger roster than Arizona and they've played well out of the gates, but ultimately I like what the Jackets have to offer this season, and I think we will see them finishing above the Wings in the standings come the end of the year.

Therefore I see value with Columbus skating as underdogs at +105 tomorrow night and I would not be surprised to see this line move as we get close to puck drop. I'd play the Jackets at -115 or better.

Pick: Blue Jackets -115 or better

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