Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Ottawa Senators Free Pick

Two teams facing each other for the second time this year, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Ottawa Senators take the ice at Canadian Tire Centre in an Eastern Conference matchup. The opening face-off takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, December 29, and fans at home can see the game live on Fox Sports Ohio.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Ottawa Senators Odds

Columbus (-135) is currently favored over Ottawa (+115), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -125 for the under and +105 for the over.

Columbus is 22-16 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 2.0 units this season. Through 38 regular season contests, 19 of its games have gone under the total, while 18 have gone over and just one has pushed. The Jackets are 8-10 SU as a road team in 2017-18.

Columbus has converted on just 11.7 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s ranked 32nd in the NHL. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 17th in the league, and the teams successfully killed off 80.8 percent of all penalties.

For the team as a whole, Columbus has been penalized just 3.2 times per game overall this season, and 5.0 per game over its last five road outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays an unhealthy 14.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.

With a .921 save percentage and 28.2 saves per game, Sergei Bobrovsky (18-13-3) has been the top option in goal for Columbus this season. If it chooses to give him a rest, however, Columbus might turn to Joonas Korpisalo (4-4 record, .911 save percentage, 2.84 goals against average).

Artemi Panarin and Oliver Bjorkstrand will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Blue Jackets. Panarin has 33 points via 10 goals and 23 assists, and has recorded two or more points in six different games. Bjorkstrand has six goals and 18 assists to his name, and has logged a point in 19 games.

On the other bench, Ottawa is 11-24 straight up (SU) and has lost 16.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 35 regular season contests, 18 of its games have gone over the total, while 17 have gone under and none have pushed. It’s 6-11 SU at home this year.

Ottawa has converted on just 16.1 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s ranked 26th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 24th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.8 percent of all penalties.

Ottawa skaters have been called for penalties only 3.6 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five at home. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays just 5.6 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Craig Anderson (25.2 saves per game) has been the primary netminder in goal for Ottawa. Anderson has 10 wins, 17 losses, and four overtime losses to his name and has maintained a subpar .896 save percentage and 3.12 goals against average this season.

Mark Stone (14 goals, 18 assists) will pace the attack for Ottawa.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Ottawa Senators Free Picks

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

Betting Trends

  • The over has hit in three of Ottawa’s last five outings.
  • Columbus has attempted 34.3 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 31.9 in its last 10 games.
  • The Blue Jackets are 7-6 SU when they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Senators are 0-8 SU in games where they spend more time in the box than the opposition.
  • Three of Columbus last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 1-2 in those games and 4-3 overall in shootouts this season.
  • Ottawa has created 7.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 7.2 takeaways per game (ranked 17th in the NHL).
  • Columbus has managed 9.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, an improvement over its season average of 7.9 takeaways per game (ranked 13th in the league).
  • Columbus may have an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The teams an impressive 11-5 in one-goal games, while Ottawa is only 6-13 in such games.