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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blue Jackets vs. Avalanche (November 4)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blue Jackets vs. Avalanche (November 4) article feature image
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André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan MacKinnon

Blue Jackets vs. Avalanche Odds

Blue Jackets Odds +200
Avalanche Odds -250
Over/Under 6.5
Time 2 p.m. ET
TV NHL Network
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets will meet Friday in Game 1 of the NHL’s Global Series from Tampere Arena in Finland.

With Patrik Laine, Mikko Rantanen and Arturri Lehkonen all skating on these two rosters, Colorado and Columbus both hold some serious Finnish star-power and Friday’s game should be quite a spectacle.

Let’s dive into potential betting angles from this rare mid-day NHL contest.

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Blue Jackets Have Struggled

Based on last season’s dreadful underlying numbers, the Blue Jackets always made for an easy regression candidate entering this season, as 81 points already appeared to be quite an overachievement.

Even if the high profile addition of Johnny Gaudreau was supposed to mean meaningful progress toward contending, the net gains to this roster were counteracted in large part due to the shocking signing of Erik Gudbranson.

Not just to pick on Gudbranson, who has struggled mightily to start this season, but the larger part of the problem was having to subtract Oliver Bjorkstrand for next to nothing due to cap constraints.

Bjorkstrand made a significant difference all over the ice for the Blue Jackets, and it’s easy to argue his impact on the game is far more positive than that of Laine, who is now being keyed upon to play a massive role.

The Blue Jackets have struggled to a 41.3 xGF%, and have allowed an average of 11.8 high danger chances against per game.

A notable upswing in form does not seem likely based on the current roster situation, which means life will remain tough for the goaltending tandem of Elvis Merzlikins and Daniil Tarasov.

Merzlikins has been confirmed as Columbus starter for this contest, and has struggled mightily this season with a -9.2 goals saved above expected rating and .864 save % throughout seven appearances.

First line center Boone Jenner missed practice Thursday due to illness, and should he rest for this contest it would go as a significant loss for a thin Blue Jackets roster.


Avalanche Looking For Spark

The Avalanche have struggled out of the gates to a record of just 4-4-1, and could be struggling through of the championship hangover to begin this season.

It’s possible this trip overseas will be something exciting for the Stanley Cup champs, and perhaps be somewhat of a high point on an 82-game schedule which probably does not feel overly exciting.

Especially as it is well known how loved and respected assistant captain Mikko Rantanen is by the team, and the fact that this is obviously a massive opportunity for both him and Arturri Lehkonen could provide a spark to the Avs.

When playing at near full health there is still no debate that the Avalanche hold one of the top roster’s in hockey, and I believe it is far more likely that behind Colorado’s spectacular team defensive play its goaltending tandem of Pavel Francouz and Alexandar Georgiev can succeed this season.

We should see Georgiev get the start for Colorado Friday, and he has shined thus far with a .918 save % and +3.6 goals saved above expected rating in six appearances.

Valeri Nichushkin is likely to return for this contest, which goes as a massive boost to the Avalanche’s top six, as Nichushkin has quietly proven to be one of the very best in the league over the last calendar year, including a ridiculous 12 points in his first seven games this season.

Blue Jackets vs. Avalanche Pick

Colorado has looked lethargic and disengaged, but perhaps a rare chance to play overseas could be a strong angle for the Avalanche to play at closer to full potential.

Columbus has allowed a ton of high danger chances against all season long, which is far from surprising considering last year’s results, and that the Blue Jackets’ defensive roster is arguably worse than a season ago at this point.

If Colorado can play at the high level we know it is capable of, a comfortable win behind a strong offensive performance seems likely in this spot.

At +105 I like a play on the Avalanche to cover the puck line, and would get involved down to -105.

Pick: Colorado Avalanche -1.5 +105 (Play to -105)

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