Free Picks: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Lightning vs Blue Jackets NHL
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL, Amalie Arena

The Lightning have smoked their opposition this season. However, they have struggled against the Blue Jackets. Boasting one of the best offenses in the NHL, Tampa Bay has been challenged by Columbus. Thursday night is another opportunity for the Lightning to crack Columbus’ defense. Are the Blue Jackets inside Tampa’s head? Or will the Lightning ignite the lamp in their upcoming game?

Something's gotta give in Tampa Bay.

After seeing the Buffalo Sabres snap their ugly losing skid, the Lightning look to snap a skid of their own on Thursday. Now, the Lightning’s current 3-game dive isn’t the same magnitude as Buffalo’s, but for Tampa Bay’s expectations, it may as well be.

Luckily for the Lightning, Tampa Bay is playing a team that is low in the standings. Columbus has struggled all season and finds themselves above only two teams in the Central Division.

Despite Tampa Bay’s current streak of L’s, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that NHL odds have not been impacted too much. Tampa Bay is still considered the favorite by Betway, as they should be.

For this NHL pick, I want to analyze Tampa Bay – specifically their personal total goals. Coming off a loss to the Blue Jackets and only scoring 1 goal is certainly intriguing for the total goals.

The Blue Jackets are one of the worst teams in the NHL in terms of goals against. While they have saved themselves on numerous occasions with their goal-scoring capabilities, the Blue Jackets have trouble keeping the puck out of the net.

That is why for this free pick and prediction I think it is smart to bet on Tampa Bay’s total goals. The Lightning are still an elite offense, despite what happened in their last game against CBJ.

Tampa Bay have been limited to 1 goal on rare occasions this season. I will admit that the Blue Jackets have had success against the Lightning this season. For all the hate I give towards the Blue Jackets, they have done a tremendous job in stopping one of the best offenses in the NHL.

But the Lightning are the crown jewel of NHL offenses for a reason. The Lightning have more games with 6 goals scored than games scored with 1 goal scored. Tampa Bay is an offensive machine that will eventually crack CBJ.

Thursday night, I think we see Tampa Bay’s offense take over like they have against every other team this season.

Stats

  • Tampa Bay averages 3.5 goals per game this season.
  • The Lightning are ranked 1st in total goals (124).
  • Tampa Bay averages 2 goals per game against CBJ this season.
  • Columbus allows 3.19 goals against per game.

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have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter (@Patrick_Trudeau) so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.