Nationwide Arena is the site for an East-West matchup as the Columbus Blue Jackets welcome the visiting Colorado Avalanche. It’s the final time that the two clubs will go at it in the regular season. Altitude Sports & Entertainment will showcase the action, which gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 8.
Colorado Avalanche at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Colorado is 35-31 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 8.7 units this season. 35 of its outings have gone over the total, while 27 have gone under and just four have pushed. This 2017-18 Avalanche team is 12-21 SU on the road.
Colorado has converted on 20.3 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked third overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.2 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Colorado has been penalized 4.1 times per game overall this season, 3.8 per game over its last five games total, and 3.8 per game over its last five games as the visiting team. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 8.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Boasting a .914 save percentage and 28.3 saves per game, Semyon Varlamov (19-21-5) has been the primary option in goal for Colorado this season. If it decides to rest him, however, Colorado may roll with Jonathan Bernier (17-13-2 record, .914 save percentage, 2.82 goals against average).
Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen will both lead the way for the visiting Avalanche. MacKinnon has 78 points via 32 goals and 46 assists, and has recorded two or more points 22 times. Rantanen has 22 goals and 42 assists to his nameand has registered at least one point in 40 games.
Over on the other bench, Columbus is 34-33 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 67 regular season contests, 36 of its games have gone under the total, while 30 have gone over and just one has pushed. It’s 20-13 SU at home this season.
Columbus has converted on just 14.4 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that places it in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.2 percent of all opponent power plays.
Columbus players have been sent to the penalty box only 3.0 times per game in total this season, and 2.2 per game over their last five at home. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 6.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Sergei Bobrovsky (28.1 saves per game) has been the primary selection in goal for Columbus. Bobrovsky has 28 wins, 26 losses, and five overtime losses and has registered a 2.44 goals against average and a .920 save percentage this season.
Artemi Panarin (21 goals, 37 assists) will pace the attack for the Blue Jackets.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks
Pick: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Under
- The total has gone over in four of Columbus’ last five games.
- The Blue Jackets are 11-13 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Avalanche are 10-14 SU when they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
- Columbus (6-4 in shootouts this season) has significantly more experience in games decided by shootout. Colorado has only participated in two shootouts this year, winning one and losing the other.
- Columbus has managed 10.0 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.4 takeaways per game (ranked 13th).
- Colorado is ranked 21st overall this season with 6.6 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down recently, however, as it has averaged 5.0 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.0 takeaways over its last five.
- Columbus may hold the upper hand if it’s a tight one late. The team’s 18-11 in games decided by one goal, while Colorado is 10-12 in such games.