Ottawa Senators at Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Odds, Pick and Preview: Is the Price Too High on the Favorite?
Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Joonas Korpisalo
- The Columbus Blue Jackets are big favorites over the Ottawa Senators in Monday night's lone NHL game.
- The Senators are +190 on the moneyline but the Blue Jackets aren't the type of team to run all over their opponents.
- Michael Leboff previews Senators at Blue Jackets and suggests a bet for Monday night:
Ottawa Senators at Columbus Blue Jackets odds
- Senators odds: +190
- Blue Jackets odds: -230
- Over/Under: 5.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
There’s just one game on the NHL itinerary tonight as the league is allowing the other 29 teams a night off to let the dust settle after the Trade Deadline. Luckily, the one game we’ve got is a pretty watchable contest featuring a team fighting for a playoff spot in a must-win spot against a lottery team.
The Columbus Blue Jackets come into Monday night just outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Columbus is tied with Carolina at 74 points but the Hurricanes have two games in hand on John Tortorella’s side. Given how tight things are in the Eastern Conference, two points are mandatory for the Jackets at home against the Senators tonight.
But just because one team is in a must-win spot against a lottery-bound doormat doesn’t mean they’re a lock, especially in a sport as random as hockey. Everything comes down to price in betting and the price on Columbus tonight is pretty high.
That being said, the Jackets have proven to be a tough out all season long and their defensive metrics rank among the league’s elites. Overall, the Jackets allow 1.99 goals against (third overall) and 2.05 expected goals against (third) per 60 minutes this season (5-on-5, score + venue adjusted). Columbus’ defense-first style keeps them in games against better teams, which is important since the Jackets lack high-end talent and have been decimated by injuries.
Things don’t come easy offensively for the Jackets, who rank 27th in GF/60 and 25th in xGF/60.
Columbus will be missing several key offensive contributors on Monday, including Oliver Bjorkstrand, Alex Texier, Alex Wennberg and likely Cam Atkinson. That doesn’t include No. 1 defenseman Seth Jones nor stay-at-home rearguard Ryan Murray, who also are on the sideline.
Things aren’t particularly pretty for the Senators on either side of the ice, as they own a 48.4% expected goals rate and their 2.55 xGA/60 ranks 25th in the circuit. The Senators boast mediocre offensive metrics, which is good relative to where they sit in the standings, but this is a bad team that got worse (in the short-term) at the Trade Deadline.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Vlad Namestnikov and Dylan DeMelo are all gone, leaving holes up and down the Sens’ lineup for the rest of this season.
The Blue Jackets should be big favorites in this game but in terms of actual on-ice talent, I don’t think the gap is this wide. The listed odds for this game imply that the Senators win this game just 33.1% of the time and I think that’s a little low, especially against Columbus, which is not a team that has much blow-your-doors-off potential.
The Jackets have played in 21 overtime games this season which shows you that, yes, Columbus is good at hanging in games, but it also lets lesser teams stick around.
This isn’t exactly a fun bet to make, but I think Ottawa wins this game more than 35% of the time, so I like the Senators at this price.