One of the marquee NHL betting matchups of the week in the National Hockey League is from Ohio on Thursday night as Columbus and the New York Islanders square off. They are battling for the Metropolitan Division lead along with New Jersey. Check back at MyBookie for the latest NHL odds around gametime.
NY Islanders at Columbus NHL Betting Pick & Expert Preview
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 12, 2017
When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
TV: MSG+/Fox Sports Ohio
Radio: 88.7 FM (NY) / 97.1 The Fan (Columbus)
Opening NHL Betting Lines: TBA
- All: NY Islanders 17-10-3 / Columbus 19-11-1
- Home: NY Islanders 9-1-2 / Columbus 11-6
- As Favorite: NY Islanders 8-9-1 / Columbus 8-5-1
- As Underdog: NY Islanders 7-9-1 / Columbus 2-3-1
- ATS: NY Islanders 19-11 / Columbus 14-17
- Over/Under: NY Islanders 19-10-1 / Columbus 14-17
The Islanders and Blue Jackets will meet four times this regular season. They did on Opening Night in Columbus, a 5-0 Jackets win. Artemi Panarin had three assists in his Columbus debut – he came over this past offseason in a big trade with Chicago for Brandon Saad. Panarin was the first player in Columbus franchise history to get three points in his club debut.
Rookies Sonny Milano and Pierre-Luc Dubois had their first NHL goals for Columbus, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray and Zach Werenski also scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves. Thomas Greiss was in net for the Islanders – he’s the backup usually to Jaroslav Halak. Greiss made 21 saves before being pulled after giving up Dubois’ goal. Halak stopped all 11 shots he faced in relief.
Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)
- Record: NY Islanders 6-3-1 / Columbus 4-4-2
- Score: NY Islanders 2.0 / Columbus 3.20
- Shots: NY Islanders 28.80 / Columbus 32.40
- Power Play Goals: NY Islanders 4 / Columbus 3
- Number of Power Plays: NY Islanders 22/ Columbus 124
- Power Play Percentage: NY Islanders 18.18%/ Columbus 12.50%
- Penalty Kill Percentage: NY Islanders 87.50% / Columbus 81.82%
Why Bet on NY Islanders?
How good has Anders Lee been for the Islanders? In Monday’s win over Washington, Lee had an assist, giving him 30 points point in 30 games this season. He’s one of just 23 players to reach that 30-point milestone so far. He’s on pace to shatter 2016-17 career-high of 52 points.
Captain John Tavares had a goal in the win and has now picked up at least one point in nine of his last 12 games. He has 18 goals and 32 points in 30 games this season. Halak allowed one goal on 32 shots. He blanked the Caps through two periods, but he eventually gave up a goal to Dmitry Orlov midway through the third period. Halak now has a 9-7-1 record with a 2.82 goals-against-average and a .909 save percentage this season.
It was a performance the Islanders desperately needed after posting a 1-3-1 record in their last five games. “Sometimes you need the results to get that extra confidence,” Josh Bailey said about Halak. “He made some really quality saves at the right times. He was on his game.”
Offensively, the Islanders have been terrific this year. With 106 goals in 30 games, an average of 3.53 per game, New York has had the second-best attack in the entire league, sitting only a fraction behind that of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tavares, Bailey, Lee and Mathew Barzal all have at least 28 points, making the Islanders one of only three teams to have four players in the top 50 of league scoring.
- Goals: 3.60
- Shots: 31
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.42
- Goals: 3.33
- Shots: 32.83
- PP/PK Percentage: 26.60
Why Bet on Columbus?
The Jackets are quite a bit different from the Isles. Columbus ranks 22nd in scoring and dead last on the power play but is third in goals-against and third on the penalty kill. Columbus has allowed only two goals on the penalty kill in their last 36 opportunities. Their penalty killing has been especially stingy at home, allowing just two goals on 42 chances (4.8 percent) all season. Both goals came Oct. 30 against the Boston Bruins.
The Jackets’ highest-ever finish on the penalty kill is fourth, which they achieved in back-to-back seasons (2002-03 and 2003-04) when they killed 86.5 percent and then a franchise-best 88.2 percent. respectively. Bobrovsky is a Vezina Trophy candidate. Entering this week, he was 16-7-1 on the year with a 2.06 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. He also has a league-high four shutouts.
How is Columbus Performing This Season?
The Blue Jackets are first in the Metropolitan Division even though last season’s breakout star Cam Atkinson hasn’t enjoyed personal success yet. One year after pacing Columbus with an impressive 35-goal, 62-point performance, he found himself sitting in the press box for the Blue Jackets’ outing against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, having played his way out of John Tortorella’s good graces and into the doghouse. The scratch was a culmination of a brutal month-plus stretch in which Atkinson scored two goals and four points across a 15-game span. If he can’t shake his slump and pick up the pace, he is in line to end the season with 18 goals and 27 points.
Columbus’ top line is called the PB&J line, the grouping of Dubois, Josh Anderson and Panarin. Panarin and Anderson sit first and second in team scoring, with 26 and 18 points on the season, respectively. As for Dubois, he’s not far behind, as he’s tallied five goals and eight assists through 30 showings.
- Goals: 2.84
- Shots: 34.68
- PP/PK Percentage: 9.09
- Goals: 2.58
- Shots: 30.48
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.05
Expert Prediction & NHL Betting Pick
The Islanders will be playing the second of a back-to-back as they host Dallas on Wednesday. Take the Jackets as your NHL betting pick.