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Panthers vs. Blue Jackets Odds & Picks: Back Columbus in Revenge Spot

Panthers vs. Blue Jackets Odds & Picks: Back Columbus in Revenge Spot article feature image

Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Oliver Bjorkstrand (left) celebrates with Alexandre Texier.

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets host the Florida Panthers in the second game of the teams' miniseries.
  • Looking at what the Blue Jackets have done makes Matt Russell lean towards their ability to play better on the back end of these meetings.
  • Russell previews this game and shares his betting pick below.

Panthers vs. Blue Jackets Odds

Panthers Odds +1.5
Blue Jackets Odds -1.5
Moneyline -105  / -115
Over/Under 5.5 
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Wednesday night and via PointsBet, where you can get $250 FREE instantly after signing up AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app. 

Even after we pore over the numbers searching for edges, sometimes it comes down to something as simple as, “What do you believe?”

I can use the small sample size of the games so far this NHL season to tell you that backing a team that lost the first of a back-to-back is a profitable endeavor. I can tell you that the loser of the first game is winning the second game at better than two-thirds of the time. I can tell you that the team who lost the first game improves their win probability by 9% the second time around. 

What do you believe about that information as it pertains to the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets rematch on Thursday night?

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Florida Panthers

If you believe the Panthers are the better team, as early season advanced metrics would indicate, then a plus-money price for Florida is probably pretty attractive. The lighting for the Cats gets even better when we reflect some shine off the numbers from the Panthers’ 4-3 shootout win in Columbus. 

The Panthers held the Blue Jackets to just two High-Danger Chances at 5-on-5. The Blue Jackets converted one of two, en route to a full one-goal deficit in Expected Goals (xGF).

In a defensive slog typical of a Blue Jackets game, the Panthers managed 1.76 xGF to Columbus’s 0.75. That doesn’t even take into account Florida’s goal with 2.5 seconds left to tie the game, which forced an eventual shootout, which the Panthers won.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets backers would argue a bad beat, but the truth is the Blue Jackets should have never been in the game considering their inability to generate offense.

That doesn’t mean they can’t play a better game in the return match-up, but the Panthers early season effort has been pretty impressive on the defensive end. 

Through no fault of their own, the Panthers have played just three games, and not against the high-octane portion of their schedule, so we’ll need to see more before we put too much stock in their rating this season. The numbers look great though.

They’ve only allowed 10 High-Danger Chances (HDC) in those three games, a comically low amount that helps them mask the usual slow start by Sergei Bobrovsky and his -1.47 GSAA. He almost cost them this game early, giving up three goals on 12 shots at one point.

Panthers-Blue Jackets Pick

So, what do we believe?

Is an even-money or better price the way to go with the Panthers? Or, do we believe in NHL teams’ ability to play better in a rematch game? 

Looking at what the Blue Jackets have done makes me lean towards their ability to play better on the back end of these meetings. Columbus has increased their level of play at even-strength in all three second-game situations, even though they only have one win to show for it (a win over the defending Stanley Cup Champions, for what it’s worth).

They’ve improved at not just a marginal rate either. The loser of the first game improves their win probability by an average of 9% in the second. The Blue Jackets have done so at a rate of better than 30%. 

With that in mind, I believe the Blue Jackets should be favored in this revenge spot, and I’m willing to bet them at a win probability of 55%, which translates to -120 on the moneyline. 

Pick: Blue Jackets (-120 or better)

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