Play Blackhawks Puck Line Over Blue Jackets as the Smart NHL Pick

David Lawrence

Saturday, October 17, 2015 2:57 PM GMT

The Blue Jackets have been searching for answers following an 0-5 start in this NHL betting season. They’ll try to avoid stumbling again but it might be tough on the road vs. the defending champs.

Momentum
The Blackhawks are searching for some sort of momentum as they return home this weekend and if they can get a win on Saturday night it could provide a spark for their four-game home stand. Chicago struggled to find the back of the net on their recent two-game trip so they have to be looking forward to the opportunity to get back on track against a Columbus side that has struggled in its own end.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets absolutely needed to get something going against Toronto on Friday night but now they will have to manage a tough turnaround after flying to Chicago for their second game in as many nights. Columbus will play five of its next six games on the road so they could be in tough if they stumble early on. 

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Projected Starting Goalies
Corey Crawford is expected to be back between the pipes after he and Scott Darling split starts in Chicago’s last two losses and for the most part, he has only looked average early on. The Blackhawks have struggled to score goals early on, so look for them to try and be better in their own end in front of Crawford as they continue to search for offense.

Blue Jackets’ starter Sergei Bobrovsky said the other day that he has absolutely no confidence right now, which is probably the last thing a team wants to hear from its goalie. The problem is that Columbus doesn’t really have a viable alternative right now so it looks like they will be forced to stick with him as their starter. Bobrovsky carried a 5.05 goals against average and .830 save percentage in to Friday night’s start against the Maple Leafs and then gave up another five goals on 33 shots. There is no doubt he has to be better if this Blue Jackets team is going to contend for a playoff spot this season. It’s hard to take this team with your NHL picks when they’re looking like this.

 

What’s The Pick?
The Blue Jackets will visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night and they could be flying into a tough situation. Chicago has also hit a tough spot after dropping consecutive losses on the road and they will be playing with a sense of urgency as they try to get back on track at home.

Columbus is in a challenging spot after a slow start to their season but they have the talent to get back on track in the long term – even if it doesn’t happen in Chicago this weekend. The defending Stanley Cup champions have a lot of new faces in their lineup but they are still loaded with talent. Despite being snake-bitten up front over the past couple of weeks, they should be able to get back on track at home against a Blue Jackets’ side that has been awful in its own end. It’s a lot of juice to lay on the NHL odds, so take the puck line instead. The Blue Jackets have lost by at least two goals each and every time so far.

NHL Pick: Chicago -1.5 at Bet365

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