Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Philadelphia Flyers Game Preview

Squaring off for the fourth and final time this year, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Philadelphia Flyers clash at the Wells Fargo Center in a divisional tilt. NBC Sports Philadelphia will showcase the matchup, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Philadelphia Flyers Odds

Philadelphia (+100) is currently the underdog to Philadelphia (-120), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -125 for the under and +105 for the over.

Columbus is 37-33 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 37 of its games have gone under the total, while 32 have gone over and just one has pushed. As the road team in 2017-18, the Jackets are 14-20 SU.

Columbus has converted on just 15.2 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. Its penalty kill is ranked 25th overall, and it has successfully killed off only 77.5 percent of all penalties.

For the team as a whole, Columbus has been penalized just 3.0 times per game this season, 2.8 per game over its last five total, and 3.4 per game over its last five games as the visiting team. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 7.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 28.2 saves per game with a .921 save percentage, Sergei Bobrovsky (30-26-5) has been the best option in goal for Columbus this year. If Columbus decides to rest him, however, head coach John Tortorella may turn to Joonas Korpisalo (7-8 record, .902 save percentage, 3.19 goals against average).

Artemi Panarin and Seth Jones will both lead the way for the visiting Blue Jackets. Panarin has 61 points on 21 goals and 40 assists, and has recorded two or more points 12 times. Jones has 14 goals and 34 assists to his credit, and has notched a point in 34 games.

Over on the other bench, Philadelphia is 35-35 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 70 regular season matches, 35 of its games have gone over the total, while 33 have gone under and just two have pushed. It’s 17-18 SU at home this year.

Philadelphia has converted on 20.1 percent of its 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 74.9 percent of all penalties.

Philadelphia skaters have been penalized 3.5 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s been forced to defend opponent power plays just 6.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Brian Elliott (26.3 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Philadelphia. Elliott has 22 wins, 19 losses, and seven overtime losses and has maintained a poor .908 save percentage and 2.72 goals against average this year.

The home team offense will be led by Claude Giroux (25 goals, 57 assists).

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Philadelphia Flyers Betting Predictions

Pick: SU Winner – Flyers, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • The under has hit in four of Philadelphia’s last five games.
  • Columbus has attempted 34.1 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 27.0 in its last five road games.
  • The Blue Jackets are 11-13 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Flyers are 10-14 SU when they spend more time in the box than the opposition.
  • Two of Philadelphia’s last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 2-6 overall in shootouts this season.
  • Philadelphia has created 5.0 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a drop-off from its season average of 5.8 takeaways per game (ranked 26th).
  • Columbus has averaged 2.8 goals per game overall this season, but has raised that figure up to 4.2 per contest in their past five games (the team’s a perfect 5-0 SU over that streak).
  • Columbus skaters have forced 5.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.4 takeaways per game (ranked 13th overall).
  • Columbus may hold an advantage if it’s a tight one late. The team’s an impressive 20-11 in games decided by one goal, while Philadelphia is 15-19 in such games.