Stars vs. Blue Jackets Odds, Picks, Predictions: Is Columbus Coming Back to Earth? (Dec. 2)
Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Pavelski
- The Blue Jackets and Stars are going in opposite directions, so it's no surprise that Dallas is a big home favorite over Columbus on Thursday night.
- Instead of looking for a pick on a side, Jacob McKenna is targeting the Over/Under and wonders if the defenses will keep this game tight.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting prediction.
Stars vs. Blue Jackets Odds
|Blue Jackets Odds||+170|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Columbus Blue Jackets will continue their four game road trip when they travel to Dallas to take on the Stars on Thursday night.
Columbus comes into this matchup having lost the first two games of its road trip, but the Jackets still find themselves in fifth-place in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 12-8.
Meanwhile, the Stars enter this showdown as one of the hottest teams in the league, having won five straight games and they now have an overall record of 11-7-2.
The beginning of the four game road trip has not been kind to the Blue Jackets. Will we see them flip the script in this one, or will Dallas continue their stellar play?
Are the Jackets Coming Back to Earth?
In the grand scheme of things, the Blue Jackets have been having a decent season as they have a total of 24 points. That said, their recent form has been sub-par at best.
Columbus’ most recent two games have been as disastrous as it can get in the NHL. They started off their road trip with a 6-3 loss to the Blues, and then followed that up with a 6-0 loss against the Predators on Tuesday.
The lack of scoring is a reason for concern, but this is a team that is sixth overall in goals per game with 3.42 and they average 2.38 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes at this point in the season, a metric where they are ranked 13th overall.
The bigger concern is the nonexistent defense that is being played, which has been a common theme for Columbus for most of the season.
As a team, Columbus is surrendering an average of 3.06 goals per 60 minutes, the third most allowed by a team in the NHL. Furthermore, this team has given up a total of 49 goals in 5-on-5 situations alone, another metric that they are ranked in the bottom five in.
Luckily, it appears that the Jackets will have a good anchor in net in Elvis Merzilkins for this game. In 5-on-5 situations this season, Merzilkins has an SV % of .922, HDSV % of .894, and 0.9 Goals Saved Above Expected. He struggled in his last outing against the Predators, but he is positioned well for a bounce back in this one.
The Stars Are Surging
As previously mentioned, the Dallas Stars are one of the hottest teams in the NHL and have been dominant over the last week and a half.
Dallas is outscoring their opponents 18-6 during their win streak, and many of those opponents are not push-overs. They have only allowed one goal in each of their games against the Blues, Oilers, Avalanche, and Hurricanes, which are some of the best scoring teams in the league.
The Stars are a solid defensive team, which is evident by their play recently. In 5-on-5 this season they have been great too, only allowing a total of 34 goals and 2.05 goals per 60 minutes, ranking in the top-10 in each of those categories.
Despite their recent scoring success on the offensive end of the ice, statistics show that this is not a high-powered offense. Dallas has scored just 31 total goals in 5-on-5 situations this season, the third least in the NHL. Furthermore, they are only averaging 2.1 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes and 2.74 goals per game.
No goalie has been named at the time of writing on Wednesday night, but Braden Holtby appears to be heading towards starting this game. In 5-on-5, Holtby has a SV % of .928 and 0.6 Goals Saved Above Expected.
Blue Jackets vs. Stars Pick
The lack of scoring from the Blue Jackets recently has been a major concern, and things do not look like they are going to get any easier against a good Stars defense.
Dallas has played great hockey recently and has not seen a total go above five goals in any of their last five games. Given their dominance on defense and Columbus’ lack of offense as of late, I think it is likely that trend continues in this one.
Furthermore, the under has hit in 13 of Dallas’ 20 games this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that trend continue either.
Pick: Total under 5.5 (-120)