NHL Picks: Senators vs. Blue Jackets

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 4:39 PM GMT

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 4:39 PM GMT

The Columbus Blue Jackets host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday at the Nationwide Arena. Have we decided to look at the total or the money line with our NHL picks in tonight's matchup?

According NHL betting odds Columbus is a -125 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. These two clubs have seen 7 of their last 10 meetings go over the total. The home team has won the last 4-games in this series.

Been Blue Lately for Jackets

Columbus enters tonight having lost their last 3-games in a row. They last played on Saturday and were blanked 3-0 at home by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Jackets managed only 19 shots on goal, and were stymied by rookie Jeff Zatkoff who earned his first ever NHL win in addition to shutout. Columbus is 9-1 in their last 10 home games versus an opponent with a less than .400 road money line winning percentage. Columbus has gone over the total just 5 times in their last 19 home games.

Senators Struggling

Ottawa enters tonight's contest losers of their last 5-games. This is a club that’s much more talented than their record may indicate. One area of concern is the territorial advantage the Senators are surrendering to their opponents. They’re 30th in the NHL in allowing 38.5 shots on goal against per game. In their last 3-games alone they’ve allowed opponents to accumulate 135 shots on goal which equates to 45 per contest. That’s put a lot of pressure on the shoulders of goaltenders Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner who’ve held up reasonably well to this point. The Senators have seen the last 4, and 7 of the last 9-games go over the total.

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Final Analysis

In a battle of two clubs that are going through a tough stretch this is a very tough call. The Senators will catch a break playing a Columbus team that lacks scoring depth, and the amount of offensive skill, in comparison to what they faced from their last few opponents. My lean here for my NHL pick is on the under. Below is a supporting NHL totals system that has gone 69.4% since the start of the 1996-1997 year.

Any team coming off 2 losses in a row versus division opponents, versus an opponent coming off a home game in which both teams scored 3 or more goals has seen 43 of those 62-games (69.4%) go under the total since the start of the 1996-1997 year.

NHL Pick: Ottawa/Columbus to go under the total of 5.5

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