Bet Ducks to Cover vs. Blue Jackets for NHL Picks

Ross Benjamin

Friday, October 24, 2014 1:29 PM GMT

Expert NHL handicapper provides insight on the matchup between the Colombus Blue Jackets vs. Anaheim Ducks complete with his free NHL picks. 

Blue Jackets On the Duck Pond
The Ducks will host the Blue Jackets tonight at the Honda Center in Anaheim with a scheduled start time of 10:05 PM ET. According to the NHL odds at Pinnacle, the Ducks are a -200 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. The puck-line shows the Ducks -1.5 (+150) and the Blue Jackets +1.5 (-170). These teams split their two meetings a season ago, and each of those games went over the total.

 

Jackets Off An Impressive Win
Let me preface this paragraph by saying the Columbus Blue Jackets were one the sleeper teams named in my Eastern Conference Update article earlier this week. Their performance in last night’s 5-4 come from behind road win at San Jose is a prime example of why I’m so high on this club. They overcame an early 2-0 deficit, and then rallied from 4-3 down in the 3rd period to come away with the win. Mark Letestu scored his 2nd goal of the game with just 0:21 left to play in the 3rd period for the game winner. The victory improved the Blue Jackets to 4-2 in the young season. San Jose did score a power play goal in the game, and it was the first surrendered by Columbus this year. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 33 of 37 shots of the Sharks shots on goal, and has posted a stellar .923 save percentage while starting all 6-games played by Columbus.

 

A Red-Hot Team
The Anaheim Ducks lost their season opener at Pittsburgh, and since then have won 6-games in a row. Tonight will be the 4th of a 5-game in 10-day home stand for the Ducks. They’ve won each of the first 3-games, and have outscored those 3-opponents by a cumulative score of 9-2. All 3-games also went under the total. The fast start at home is beginning to resemble what we saw a season ago when the Ducks won 21 of their first 22 at the Honda Center. The Ducks have allowed just 8-goals combined during their current 6-game winning streak. Frederik Andersen has started all 6-games during this recent win streak, and has been brilliant with a superb .951 save percentage.

 

Final Analysis
The question mark in this game at the time of this writing, will the Blue Jackets will come right back with former Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky in goal for the 2nd night in a row, or will they opt for backup Curtis McElhinney who’s listed as day to day with a head injury? My educated guess would say it would be the latter if he’s healthy, and based on the opening NHL money line is the most likely scenario. In any event, it would be awfully difficult to fade the Ducks right now, and especially at home. My advice for one of your NHL picks today is use the home team on the puck-line in order to maximize your return on investment.

Free NHL Pick: Ducks -1.5 (+150) over the Blue Jackets on the puck line at 5Dimes

 

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