New York Islanders vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Free Pick

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A pair of teams that are squarely in playoff contention, the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets take the ice at Nationwide Arena for a divisional showdown. The game gets started at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14 and it can be watched live on Fox Sports Ohio.

New York Islanders at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds

Columbus (+140) is entering this one as the underdog to Columbus (-160), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -120 for the under and +100 for the over. Columbus is 19-12 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 3.1 units this season. That winning percentage, the best in the Metropolitan Division in this young season, is right in line with the 50-32 record the team produced during last years regular season campaign. Through 31 regular season outings, 16 of the teams games have gone under the total, while 14 have gone over and just one has pushed. The teams 11-6 SU at home this year. The Blue Jackets have converted on just 9.1 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s ranked 32nd overall in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated fifth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 84.0 percent of all penalties. As a collective unit, the Blue Jackets have been penalized just 2.9 times per game overall this season, 3.2 per game over their past five games total, and 3.2 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties for just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total. Averaging 27.6 saves per game with a .926 save percentage, Sergei Bobrovsky (16-9-1) has been the top option in goal for Columbus this year. If the Jackets choose to give him a breather, however, head coach John Tortorella may roll with Joonas Korpisalo (3-4-4 record, .903 save percentage, 2.97 goals against average). The Jackets will continue relying on offensive production via Artemi Panarin and Josh Anderson. Panarin (26 points) has tallied seven goals and 19 assists and has recorded two or more points four times this year. Anderson has 11 goals and seven assists to his credit and has notched a point in 15 contests. New York is 17-14 straight up (SU) and has earned 4.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 31 regular season contests, 19 of its games have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and just one has pushed. The Islanders are 8-10 SU as the road team this season. The Islanders have converted on 20.0 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 30th overall and it’s successfully killed off 73.7 percent of all penalties. New York’s players have been penalized only 3.5 times per game in total this season, and 4.4 per game over their last five road outings. The team has had to defend opponent power plays just 7.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Jaroslav Halak (.905 save percentage and 2.97 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for New York. Halak is averaging 26.1 saves per game and has nine wins, 10 losses, and one OT loss to his credit. Josh Bailey (five goals, 30 assists) has been one of the most vital playmaking threats for the visiting Islanders.

New York Islanders vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Power plays and penalty kills could prove to be extremely important in this game. The Islanders are 8-7 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 10-10 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Blue Jackets are 8-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 15-9 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Columbus is 3-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while New York is 2-1 in shootouts.
  • Columbus may hold an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The teams 10-2 in games decided by one goal, while New York is 5-7 in such games.
  • The total has gone over in three of Columbus last five games.
  • Columbus skaters have averaged 8.2 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 6.4 giveaways per game (the 3rd-fewest in the league).
  • New York skaters have averaged 11.0 giveaways over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 11.3 giveaways per game (ranked 25th).
  • The Blue Jackets this season have registered the 12th-most hits in the NHL (22.1 per game).