NHL Playoffs Game 4 Betting Odds, Preview: Blue Jackets vs. Bruins, Avalanche vs. Sharks

NHL Playoffs Game 4 Betting Odds, Preview: Blue Jackets vs. Bruins, Avalanche vs. Sharks article feature image

Ron Chenoy, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Samuel Girard

  • There are two NHL Playoff games on Thursday night: Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets (-128) and San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche (-127).
  • Michael Leboff breaks down the odds and analyzes the matchups for both games.

Betting Odds: Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Bruins odds: +116
  • Blue Jackets odds: -128
  • Over/Under: 5
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

>> All odds as of 11 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, the last team in the East to qualify for the postseason, have a chance to put the Boston Bruins against the wall on Thursday night.

The Jackets put together another terrific performance in Game 3 and for the second contest in a row were the better team. They also got great goaltending from all-world netminder Sergei Bobrovsky.

In terms of expected goals, this series couldn’t be tighter. When you adjust for score and venue, the Bruins have created 5.05 xG at 5-on-5 while the Blue Jackets have recorded 4.95.

Both goaltenders have been superb and neither team has wobbled for more than a period, so I expect Game 4 to be another tight one.

According to the Action Network’s consensus odds, the Blue Jackets are -128 favorites, with the Bruins sitting at +116. That reflects a decent adjustment from Game 3 when Columbus closed at -113 and Boston at +102.

In terms of implied probability, the Blue Jackets are sitting at 54.8% for Game 4, which I think flatters them a little bit. If you adjust for home-ice advantage — which is roughly 5% — that suggests this game would be a coin flip on neutral ice. I’d disagree with that and think the Bruins are the better team, despite Columbus’ terrific form.

I’m backing the Bruins to bounce back and even up this series and would play it down to +108.

San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche

  • Sharks odds: +115
  • Avalanche odds: -127
  • Over/Under: 6
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET

The San Jose Sharks wrestled back home-ice advantage with a 4-2 win over Colorado Avalanche in Game 3.

It was the first time that the Sharks produced better shot and expected goals numbers in this series, which is a bit surprising because San Jose was one of the best 5-on-5 teams in the NHL this season, while Colorado was mediocre.

The Avs did post really good metrics against the Flames, another stellar 5-on-5 team, in Round 1, so this Colorado group is really interesting to project.

One interesting note is that San Jose’s Martin Jones has outplayed Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer so far this series. Despite only producing 5.88 xG at 5-on-5, San Jose has scored nine goals. That tells you that Grubauer is not up to snuff, which isn’t a good thing for the Avs given they lack talent and depth when compared to San Jose. If Colorado doesn’t win the goaltending battle, it will be a big problem.

Colorado closed Game 3 as -124 favorites, so this number is in range with that price. At -127/+115 the Avalanche have a 54.6% of winning this game and, like with the Blue Jackets, when you adjust for home-ice advantage the number you come out with indicates these two would be a coin flip on neutral ice.

Even without Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi, I still make the Sharks the better team and think this number is too high. The market may be overreacting to the fact that the Avs “must win” this game.

I’d play San Jose at +110 or better.