As the NHL season progresses, it becomes clear that some divisions are going to be better than others. You might think that a team playing in a lesser division would have a better shot at making the playoffs, but that isn’t always the case. As it may turn out that 4th in that division simply isn’t good enough. In the NHL, the top 3 teams in each division automatically make it into the postseason, with the remaining two teams battling it out for just 2 Wild Card spots. The weaker divisions might only manage to get 3 teams in, while the ones that are much more competitive will send 5 teams into the postseason, which is what we are looking at right now in the Eastern Conference. The Metropolitan Division currently has 5 teams sitting in playoff spots, which includes both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Penguins look to be safe at this point, while Columbus needs some points to stay in their Wild Card spot. These two will hook up in Columbus on Thursday night with valuable playoff points on the line. The Penguins are favored by 1 ½, with the goal total set at 5 ½. Let’s see how the NHL odds will be for the Penguins vs Blue Jackets.
Penguins vs Blue Jackets 2020 NHL Game Preview & Betting Odds
- When: Thursday, March 12 at 7 PM EST
- Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
- TV: ESPN+
- NHL Odds: Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5 / Total 5.5
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
It has been a strange sort of season for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they survived and thrived while going through some serious injury issues, only to fall off the pace once they got back to full strength. Pittsburgh has been on a bit of a skid of late, picking up just 3 wins in their last 10 games. Making matters worse is that the Flyers got hot at the same time, leapfrogging the Penguins into second in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins are not in terrible shape, though, as they are 5 points ahead of the closes team behind them, while still just 4 points off the pace at the top. The Penguins have dominated the Blue Jackets, winning 10 of the last 12, although they did lose in their visit to Columbus earlier this season.
- Goals: 3.25
- Shots: 31.97
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.91
- Goals: 2.84
- Shots: 29.71
- PP/PK Percentage: 17.89
Why bet on the Columbus Blue Jackets
If I told you that the Columbus Blue Jackets had 37 losses against 33 wins this season, you would assume that they would be sitting well off the playoff pace in the Eastern Conference. The reality, though, is that 15 of their losses this year have come in either OT or a shootout, which means that they picked up 15 points in those games. That has them at 33-22-15 on the season, good for 81 points and a 3-point lead over the pack in the Wild Card. They come into this one having gone 2-4-3 in their last 10 games, although they did pick up a nice 2-1 win in Vancouver in their last outing. The Blue Jackets are a very solid 20-12-4 on home ice this season.
- Goals: 2.57
- Shots: 32.46
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.4
- Goals: 2.67
- Shots: 29.9
- PP/PK Percentage: 18.34
Penguins vs Blue Jackets NHL Betting Trends
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games.
- Pittsburgh are 3-8 SU in their last 11 games.
- Pittsburgh are 10-2 SU in their last 12 games against Columbus.
- Pittsburgh are 2-5 SU in their last 7 games on the road.
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Pittsburgh’s last 7 games when playing on the road against Columbus.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus’ last 5 games.
- Columbus are 3-12 SU in their last 15 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Columbus’ last 20 games at home.
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Columbus’ last 7 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh.
- Columbus are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games this season.
Penguins vs Blue Jackets Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Given that the Blue Jackets have had so many tight games this season and that they are good in their own building, the smart bet here would be to take them against the spread in what should be a tight game.
Pittsburgh Penguins 2 Columbus Blue Jackets 3