Free Picks: Carolina Hurricanes vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Hurricanes vs Blue Jackets NHL
Carolina Hurricanes vs Columbus Blue Jackets,, NHL, PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

The best sports bet today is the Hurricanes with the money line (-125 with 888Sport). They’ve been running mostly hot at 8-1-1 in their last 10. What I like about Carolina is the +24 goal differential they bring into the game. They not only have firepower, but they are strong defensively too.

Columbus isn’t that good

There’s not a lot to like if you’re a Columbus fan. They rank near the bottom of the league in almost every important category. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, rank in the top 10 in the league in power-play efficiency, penalty-kill efficiency, faceoff percentage, goals scored per game and goals allowed per game.

Sometimes, you’ve got to throw out the stats and look at how these teams have done against each other. When I got about making my NHL picks, I think that the head-to-head matchups can reveal a lot. Columbus hasn’t done that badly against Carolina. The series is tied 2-2-. The Blue Jackets won the last game, 3-2, in overtime. And most of the games have been close. So, if you’re brave, the underdog bet has lots of good value (+245 with 888Sport).

Often, when I make my NHL predictions, I look at a special player who can turn the game around. For Columbus that player is defenseman Seth Jones. He scored 2 goals, including the overtime winner, in the 3-2 Columbus victory earlier in the week. But I don’t see Jones getting open like he did the last game. 

Carolina is the better team, and they also happened to run  into a hot goalie in Joonas Korpisalo.

In fact, I think Carolina tightens up. They just weren’t ready to dig in to start the game. I’m expecting to see a good game from Carolina center Sebastian Aho. He’s one of the hottest players with Carolina with 4 goals in his last 5 games. He’s the team’s leader in goals with 13 in 29 games.

Columbus is an underdog, but they’re a scrappy team. Their odds in this game (+245 with 888Sport) might push you to bet the underdog on the money line for a big payday. But I don’t see an upset here. if you want more of a sure thing, go with Carolina on the money line (-125 with 888Sport).

Stats

  • The Blue Jackets are 3-7 in their last 10 games playing on 1 day’s rest.
  • The Hurricanes are 4-1 in their last 5 home games.
  • The Under is 3-0-2 in the Blue Jackets’ last 5 road games as the underdog.
  • The Under is 3-0-3 in Carolina’s last 6 games overall.

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I live in the land of ice and snow in Toronto, Canada's largest city. I can't skate very well, but I know sports, especially hockey, after a long career writing about the Toronto Maple Leafs and other teams at the country's largest newspaper, the Toronto Star. Betting on sports can be a rewarding experience when you understand the trends and underlying characteristics of the teams and players before laying down a bet. That's how I hope to point you in the right direction.