Florida Panthers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Free Preview

Nationwide Arena will be hosting an Eastern Conference matchup as the Florida Panthers face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fox Sports Ohio will air the action, which gets going at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 7.

Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds

Columbus comes into the contest as the substantial favorite with a -165 moneyline. The line for Florida sits at +145, and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals (-130 for the under, +110 for the over).

Columbus is 23-19 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. That winning percentage, the third-best in the Metropolitan Division in this young season, is a regression from the 50-32 record that the team managed during last years regular season campaign. 22 of its 42 outings have gone under the total, while 19 have gone over and just one has pushed. This season, the team is 14-7 SU at home.

The Blue Jackets have converted on just 11.3 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s ranked 32nd overall in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 80.5 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, the Blue Jackets have been penalized just 3.1 times per game overall this season, and 4.0 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to defend opponent power plays for just 5.6 minutes per game over their last five outings, in total.

Averaging 27.9 saves per game with a .919 save percentage, Sergei Bobrovsky (19 wins, 15 losses, and three OT losses) has been the primary option in goal for the Jackets this season. If Columbus chooses to rest him, however, the team may go with Joonas Korpisalo (4-5-5 record, .904 save percentage, 3.10 goals against average).

Artemi Panarin and Oliver Bjorkstrand will both spearhead the attack for the Blue Jackets. Panarin (34 points) has tallied 10 goals and 24 assists and has recorded multiple points in seven different games this year. Bjorkstrand has eight goals and 18 assists to his credit and has recorded a point in 21 contests.

On the other side of the ice, Florida is 17-23 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 20 of its games have gone over the total, while an additional 20 have gone under and none have pushed. As a road team so far, the Panthers are 7-14 SU.

The Panthers have converted on just 15.4 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the bottom-five overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 17th overall and it’s successfully defended 81.0 percent of all penalties.

Florida’s skaters have been whistled for penalties 4.3 times per game this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five outings. The teams been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 8.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

James Reimer (27.9 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Florida. Reimer has 11 wins, 16 losses, and four overtime losses to his credit, and has registered a .910 save percentage and 3.06 goals against average this year.

Jonathan Huberdeau (14 goals, 24 assists) has been one of the top offensive facilitators for the visiting Panthers.

Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • Four of Columbus last ten games have been decided by two or more goals, and the team is 1-3 overall in those games.
  • The Panthers are 5-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 7-15 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes.
  • Three of Columbus last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 1-2 in those games and 4-3 overall in shootouts this season.
  • Columbus might hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The teams 12-6 in games decided by one goal, while Florida is 9-11 in such games.
  • The under has hit in three of Columbus last five outings.
  • Columbus skaters have averaged 4.8 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 6.0 giveaways per game (ranked 2nd in the NHL).
  • Florida skaters have averaged 7.0 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 12.2 giveaways per game (ranked 27th in the NHL).