NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Blue Jackets vs. Islanders (March 31)
Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier
- The Blue Jackets face the Islanders as road underdogs for the second straight game on Thursday night.
- The Blue Jackets have lost four straight games, but is there any value left in fading them in this matchup?
- Jonny Lazarus breaks down this game and shares his best bet below.
Blue Jackets vs. Islanders Odds
|Blue Jackets Odds||+170|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||ESPN+ | Hulu|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders are set to face off in the second half of a home-and-home when they play at UBS Arena on Thursday night.
The Islanders have taken five out of six points thus far in the meetings this season against the Blue Jackets, and they will look to win for the second time on home ice.
Columbus Blue Jackets Hoping to Get Back in the Win Column
The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost their last four straight games, two of which were in overtime, but they are desperate to take two points out of UBS Arena.
Columbus’ last trip to Long Island is one that it hopefully forgot quickly. The Islanders absolutely routed the Blue Jackets 6-0 and almost ran them out of the building. The Blue Jackets showed a much better effort in Tuesday night’s game although they fell short in a 4-3 loss, but they are hoping to take the positives from that contest into this one.
Elvis Merzlikins has started the last three games for the Blue Jackets and is expected to start once again in this game, but there is a small chance that we see Joonas Korpisalo. Korpisalo has had a very poor season as he currently has a 4.15 Goals Against Average and a .877 Save Percentage. Even though Merzlikins has been the number one guy, his numbers aren’t all that much better as he is skating to a 3.40 GAA and a .902 Save Percentage.
Columbus is the third-worst defensive team in the league, but it does have the ability to score goals, which is the only way it stays competitive in games. The Blue Jackets are averaging 3.21 goals scored per game thanks to the performances of guys like Patrik Laine and Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Columbus will need to bury its chances in this one to win.
New York Islanders Not Giving Up on the Playoffs Yet
The New York Islanders are 17 points out of a playoff spot right now with 17 games remaining in their season. We have seen Barry Trotz lead them on a run before, so you can’t count them out just yet.
The Isles have won three out of their last five games and have won four out of their last five home games. They have really picked up their play in the second half of the season, but they may have dug themselves into too deep of a hole.
The Isles’ first line made up of Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier continues to buzz as they combined for five points in Tuesday nights game. Nelson had a goal and an assist, Lee added two assists, and Beauvillier found the back of the net to help contribute to the 4-3 win. The offensive production has been inconsistent all season, but in their three games against the Blue Jackets, they have tallied a total of 12 goals.
The Islanders are hoping that their offensive production can stay consistent, but fortunately for them, they are very strong in their own end. They have the fifth-best team defense as they only allow 2.69 Goals Against per game. Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin have been splitting time in the net. Varlamov got the start in the win on Tuesday, so he may get the nod once again.
Blue Jackets vs. Islanders Pick
The Islanders have been on fire at UBS Arena as of late, winning six of their last seven home games. They seem to have the Blue Jackets’ number this season, and their goaltending his been so much better as of late.
The Blue Jackets are not a confident team right now, especially their goaltenders, as they have allowed 20 goals in their last five games. Even though the Blue Jackets can score goals, they need to find a way to keep the puck out of their own net.
I like the way the Isles have been playing lately as they have the stronger goaltending and better team defense. They have shown that they’re a better team than the Blue Jackets, and they should get the job done in regulation.
Pick: New York Islanders to Win in Regulation -135
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