NHL Picks: Blue Jackets vs. Sharks

David Lawrence

Sunday, April 21, 2013 1:36 PM GMT

The Columbus Blue Jackets are hanging on to a playoff spot for dear life. They currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, but their competitors have games in hand.

NHL Betting: Blue Jackets vs Sharks Picks

So they can’t afford to miss out on points. Unfortunately for them, they have to head to a place where they haven’t had much success as a franchise. They’ll be in San Jose on Sunday where they have lost  19 of 22 games all-time.

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Record: 132-151 (-822)

The Columbus Blue Jackets can win because…

Of Sergei Bobrovsky. Although the Blue Jackets are coming off a loss, Bobrovsky has emerged as a Vezina candidate and has been carrying the team all season long. That’s continued recently as he’s 5-1-0 with a 1.62 GAA over his last six. One of those wins was a 4-0 blanking of these very Sharks.

The Blue Jackets were not supposed to be in this position, so they are playing with the houses money. The NHL odds might be against them but they are a young, confident team that’s fueled by a stellar goalie. They’ve cashed in a number of times as a big road dog this week and they are more than capable of doing it again.

The San Jose Sharks can win because…

They have the best home record in the NHL. On top of that, they are fighting for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, so Sunday’s game means plenty to them just as it does Columbus.

Not only have the Sharks played well at home this season (won nine of 10 at the Shark Tank), they have been playing good hockey overall. They are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games.

The Blue Jackets have been playing a lot of road games recently and Sunday’s contest will be their fifth away game in eight days. That means the Sharks should be the fresher team in this matchup.

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[gameodds]7/225325/19-43-1593-999996/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick

This looks like an under play to me. With Bobrovsky and Antti Niemi manning the nets – the two best candidates for the Vezina – I think we’ll see a low scoring game on the NHL odds. Take the under.

NHL Pick: Under 5 at Bodog