Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A game between two teams riding winning streaks, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Vancouver Canucks meet at Rogers Arena in an East-West tilt. The matchup will get going at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 31, and fans at home can watch it live on Sportsnet 360.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks Odds

With a moneyline of -245, Columbus comes into the matchup as the heavy favorite. The line for Vancouver sits at +205, and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -125 under, +105 over.

Columbus is 44-34 straight up (SU) and has netted 3.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 78 regular season outings, 40 of its games have gone under the total, while 37 have gone over and just one has pushed. As the road team this season, the Jackets are 19-20 SU.

Columbus has converted on just 15.2 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s ranked 30th in the NHL. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 24th out of 31 teams, and the teams successfully killed off 77.6 percent of all penalties.

The Jackets, as a collective unit, have been penalized just 3.0 times per game this season, 3.4 per game over its last five outings total, and 3.2 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 5.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 28.2 saves per game with a .923 save percentage, Sergei Bobrovsky (36-27-5) has been the top option in goal for Columbus this season. If it decides to give him a rest, however, the team may roll with Joonas Korpisalo (8-8 record, .902 save percentage, 3.23 goals against average).

Artemi Panarin and Thomas Vanek will both be relied on to produce for the visiting Blue Jackets. Panarin has 73 points on 26 goals and 47 assists, and has recorded two or more points 15 times. Vanek has 24 goals and 31 assists to his credit, and has logged at least one point in 37 games.

On the other side of the rink, Vancouver is 29-49 straight up (SU) and has lost 10.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 78 regular season outings, 42 of its games have gone over the total, while 36 have gone under and none have pushed. It’s 14-24 SU at home this season.

The Canucks have converted on just 21.5 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.2 percent of all opponent power plays.

Vancouver players have been penalized 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties 8.6 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Jacob Markstrom (26.6 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for the Canucks. Markstrom has 22 wins, 36 losses, and seven overtime losses to his name and has recorded a mediocre 2.68 goals against average and a .913 save percentage this year.

Brock Boeser (29 goals, 26 assists) will pace the attack for the Canucks.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Vancouver Canucks Betting Predictions

NHL Tip: SU Winner – Canucks, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • Vancouver is 0-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while Columbus is 6-4 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone under in four of Vancouver’s last five games.
  • Columbus has attempted 33.7 shots per contest overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 30.3 in its last 10 games.
  • Vancouver has allowed 3.2 goals per game overall this year, but has allowed just 1.0 per contest over its three-game winning streak.
  • Six of Columbus last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 6-0 in those games.