Looking at the overall stats shows us that the Columbus Blue Jackets are 29-23-4 while their hosts, the LA Kings are 30-23-6. You’d think that there wasn’t much between them, but the sportsbooks have the best NHL odds on the Blue Jackets winning outright at +135 while the Kings are -150. The fact that the game is being played at LA seems to be scant consolation for the Kings.
If you’re wondering if the best that the Kings can hope for is a draw you should know that the win / lose / draw hockey odds are +110 for the Kings, +220 for the Jackets and +260 for a draw.
Enough with LA’s woes…WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?
If you’re wondering just why the bookies fancy Columbus for the straight win it’s because in their last ten the Blue Jackets are7-3-0 while the Kings are1-8-1. The Blue Jackets will be trying for a clean sweep of their two-game series against the Kings after Columbus beat L.A. 5-3 at Nationwide Arena back in late January, but the Kings will be desperate to bust their slump.
Your Humble Handicapper likes the sound of a draw in this one as these two sides both have plenty to play for. Also the sportsbooks seem to like the game ending level after regulation. They offer up three draws before they offer up at any other scores. 2-2 is at +900, 1-1 is at +1300 and 3-3 is offered up a t +1300. Then we have three Kings wins, 3-1, 3-2 and 2-1 at +1600, +1700 and +1800 respectively.
However, your Humble Handicapper is going against the bookies
Your Humble Handicapper is going for the Jackets!
It gets better for Columbus as they’re fresh off a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, and are in a good place ahead of their second of three-game California swing when they visit the slumped Kings. This royal slump goes back to the last time these teams met, so what better team to bust it against. The Kings may still be third in the Pacific Division, but the fifth-place Phoenix Coyotes are just four points back and have two (all important) games in hand to play. The Kings at the team under pressure…and I don’t see them taking this pressure as a spur to greater glory.
Good time to be wearing a Blue Jacket
Columbus now sit third in the Metropolitan Division, and that position has lots to do with this current surge and this surge owes a lot to the fact that Coach Todd Richards has been able to roll four lines on a regular basis, and your Humble Handicapper always says success begets success.
But it’s going to be close
The Kings’offense came good against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night, generating three goals, but their defense and goaltending let them down in their 5-3 loss.
This means that if you don’t have the balls to back a clear winner in your NHL picks (or a draw) go for Over 3.5 goals at -366. It’s not great odds but Under 3.5 goals is at +260. Good odds they may be – but I smell goals. If you want to know a reason to back Under you should know that Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed just five goals on 94 shots in his last three starts (all wins).
Prediction 1: The game ends tied 3-3 available at best hockey odds of +1300 with 888sport.
Prediction 2: The Blue Jackets take it in OT