Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The BB&T Center is the site for an Eastern Conference showdown as the Florida Panthers face off against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets. The game gets going at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 2 and it is being televised live on Fox Sports Ohio.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers Odds

Columbus enters the matchup as the favorite with a -120 moneyline. The line for Florida sits at +100, and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The odds for betting that total stand at -120 over, +100 under. Columbus is 8-4 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 3.0 units this season. Through 12 regular season outings, six of its games have gone over the total, while another six have gone under and none have pushed. As the away team in 2017-18, the Jackets are 3-2 SU. The Blue Jackets have scored on 8.6 percent of their power play opportunities so far. That’s a fairly big drop-off from last year, when they were ranked 10th in the league by scoring on 19.7 percent of their extra-man chances. Their penalty kill has gotten stronger since last year, however, as they’ve gone from successfully defending 81.5 percent of all opponent power plays (ranked 14th overall last year) to 84.4 percent this year. The Jackets, as a collective unit, have been penalized just 3.2 times per game this season, a number that’s improved from last year’s 3.6 penalties per game. After serving an average of 8.8 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team’s been forced to kill penalties for 7.5 minutes per outing this year. Averaging 28.3 saves per game with a .934 save percentage, Sergei Bobrovsky (7-2) has been the best option in goal for Columbus this season. If it chooses to give him a rest, however, head coach John Tortorella may turn to Joonas Korpisalo (1-2 record, .887 save percentage, 3.67 goals against average). Artemi Panarin and Alexander Wennberg will both lead the way for the visiting Blue Jackets. Panarin has 10 points via one goal and nine assists, and has recorded multiple points two times. Wennberg has one goal and eight assists to his name, and has notched a point in six games. On the other bench, Florida is 4-7 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 11 regular season outings, nine of its games have gone over the total, while two have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 3-3 SU at home thus far. The Panthers have converted on just 17.4 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 72.7 percent of all opponent power plays. Panthers players have been called for penalties 4.8 times per game this season. Last year, that number was at 4.1, the seventh-highest mark in the NHL. After serving an average of 9.9 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team’s had to stave off opponent power plays for 12.2 minutes per outing this year. James Reimer (27.5 saves per game) has been the top netminder in goal for the Panthers. Reimer has three wins, five losses, and one overtime loss to his credit and has maintained a mediocre 3.70 goals against average and a poor .898 save percentage this season. The Panthers will be led on offense by Aleksander Barkov (four goals, 10 assists) and Evgenii Dadonov (six goals, eight assists).

Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Panthers, O/U – Over

Betting Notes:

  • The total has gone over in three of Florida’s last five games.
  • After averaging 31.4 shots per game as a team last season (the sixth-most in the league), Columbus has attempted 36.4 shots per game overall this season, and 34.2 in its last five road games.