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Blue Jackets vs. Lightning Playoff Odds, Betting Preview: Pressure on Both Teams

Credit:

Kim Klement, USA Today Sports.

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are -425 favorites over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs.
  • The odds suggest the Lightning win this series a little over 80% of the time. Is that correct?

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Series Betting Odds

  • Blue Jackets: +325
  • Lightning: -425

The Tampa Bay Lightning played at a record pace all season long, winning 62 games — the most in the salary-cap era.

But none of that matters now as the Bolts will have to win 16 more games to ensure that this record-setting campaign is “successful.”

Standing in Tampa’s way are the Columbus Blue Jackets. This has been a weird season for Columbus thanks to personnel issues. Its best player, Artemi Panarin, and star goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, are both unrestricted free agents this summer and it seems more likely than not that both players will end up changing sweaters.

That put the Blue Jackets between a rock and a hard place. Columbus has never won a playoff series and has a great team, but the front office had a decision to make. Should the team cash in on Panarin and Bobrovsky? Or double down and give this thing a real go?

The Jackets chose the latter and made a bevy of acquisitions at the deadline, headlined by the arrival of forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel from Ottawa.

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