Detroit Red Wings vs Columbus Blue Jackets Prediction (3/11/14)
The Red Wings and Blue Jackets square off in Columbus on Tuesday as the teams are in a deadlock for the last playoff spot in the East.
The Red Wings haven’t had the dominating season everyone expected them to this year after they moved to the Eastern Conference but much like their season last year they are clawing to grab one of the last spots available to extend their franchise record to 23 straight years. Detroit has had to endure the injury bug more than anyone else in the league this season as they’ll be without Henrik Zetterberg for the rest of the year and Pavel Datsyuk for the next couple of weeks – yet the Wings continue to battle – they are right in the mix for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Detroit heads into Columbus coming off a loss in their last outing which enabled the Jackets to leapfrog them in the standings but a shot at redemption on the road is surely on the minds of a Wings team experimenting with different line combinations.
The Blue Jackets were expected to be a breakout team this season that would not only secure a playoff spot but battle for the division crown and while the latter is all but certain to not fabricate the Jackets do look poised to sneak into the playoffs. Columbus ended last year with a very impressive stretch that had them finish as one of the league’s bets second half teams but ultimately their poor start came back to haunt them as they failed to qualify for the postseason. They did however house the winner of the Vezina Trophy as Sergei Bobrovsky was honored for his efforts and despite missing a ton of time due to injury this year he has played very well once again. These two former division rivals always seem to play each other tough and it is no surprise that they are in a dead heat in the standings but ultimately I see the Jackets having the edge here due to Detroit’s injury concerns and Columbus’ advantage between the pipes.
The price has really come down on the Columbus Blue Jackets to the point where I think they’re worth a look tonight. The Blue Jackets were laying -140 on the NHL odds earlier in the day but now I see it at about -122 at 5Dimes, which to me makes far more sense.
Take a closer look at how both teams have been playing, the Blue Jackets have been the better team. They’ve won three of four while the Red Wings have lost three of four. The Blue Jackets have also won three of four in this series and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has a 1.84 GAA in his last four starts against the Red Wings.
At -140, I would have passed. At -122, the Blue Jackets are the right pick for your free NHL pick of the day.
Columbus Blue Jackets -122 to win $100
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