Thursday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Preview
Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Ethan Bear
- Nothing has gone right for the Blue Jackets of late, and they're underdogs on Thursday night against Carolina.
- The Hurricanes have been red-hot and look to continue their upward momentum.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.
Blue Jackets vs. Hurricanes Odds
|Blue Jackets Odds||+185|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Columbus Blue Jackets begin a four-game road trip on Thursday when they travel to Raleigh, NC, to take on the Hurricanes.
Columbus has had an average season up to this point, coming into this matchup with an overall record of 16-17-1 and sitting in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division. Meanwhile, Carolina has been one of the top dogs in the NHL this season and sits at the top of the Metro with a record of 24-7-2.
The Blue Jackets have struggled mightily on the road this season as have won just five games on their opponents’ ice, and Columbus is just 3-6-1 in its last 10 games. Will we see the Blue Jackets reverse those trends, or will the Canes continue their stellar play?
Blue Jackets Struggle Defensively
The calendar turning to 2022 has not been kind to Columbus. The Blue Jackets have just one win since the start of the year and have been outscored 24-13.
A lot of their struggles have carried over into the new year, especially when it comes to their play on the defensive end of the ice.
This is a hockey team that gets picked apart rather consistently. Entering this game, Columbus gives up the fourth-most goals on a per-game basis with 3.56, and is surrendering 11.96 High Danger Chances per 60 minutes in 5-on-5, the eighth-most in the NHL.
The Blue Jackets often struggle to keep pucks in front of them, which is a recipe for disaster considering they will be facing one of the more lethal scoring attacks in the league.
The Blue Jackets’ offense is simply not strong enough to withstand that level of exposure on the defensive end, often putting themselves in holes that would require them to score four or five goals on a nightly basis.
As a team, they do average 3.09 goals per game, 13th-most in the NHL, but their Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60) in 5-on-5 currently sits at 2.31, which is clearly much lower.
The Blue Jackets’ play in net has been rather unstable as well, and it appears that Joonas Korpisalo will be the starter against the Canes. Korpisalo is just 4-7-0 overall this year, and in 5-on-5 situations he has an SV % of .890 and -7.7 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Everything Clicking for Hurricanes
Carolina has had its fair share of postponements since the NHL officially resumed play, but for the most part the Hurricanes have weathered the storm.
They enter this one coming off of an overtime loss to the star-studded Florida Panthers, but that was just their second loss in the last 11 games in what has been an otherwise dominant run.
From an offensive standpoint, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to this squad. In 5-on-5, Carolina ranks within the top-three in the NHL in xGF/60 with 2.98 as well as in HDCF/60, with 13.25 High Dangers Chances per 60 minutes.
In addition, the Canes have scored a total of 80 goals in 5-on-5 this season, tied for the sixth-most in the NHL and further proving that this is one of the hardest teams to stop.
Carolina has found a way to make its mark on the defensive end, too, allowing the fewest total goals in 5-on-5 situations with just 51. A large part of the Hurricanes’ success on that end is because Fredrick Andersen has been a stud in net, and he will likely get the start on Thursday. Andersen has an SV % of .931 and 9.0 GSAx in 5-on-5 this year.
Hurricanes vs. Blue Jackets Pick
Carolina will come into this game as rather large favorites, which is why I have begun to take aim at the total.
Columbus clearly struggles on the defensive end and is constantly trying to climb back out of the hole it dug itself into. Even if it is not successful, the Blue Jackets often see totals that push double-digits, with seven of their last 10 games seeing at least seven combined goals.
Carolina certainly has the horsepower to put the puck behind Korpisalo several times, and although its defense and goaltending has been rather good, its Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) of 2.59 is slightly higher than its average goals against per game of 2.21. We could see the Blue Jackets sneak a few pucks past Andersen.
Carolina started off 2022 with a 7-4 road win against this Columbus team, and I think it is likely we see another high total in this one.
Pick: Total Over 6 (-120)