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Blue Jackets Slump Into Pittsburgh for Pivotal Battle With Penguins

March is done and gone and the real madness is now set to begin with the NHL playoffs just around the corner. There are still some interesting races yet to be settled in both conferences but one in particular pits the Blue Jackets and Penguins against each other as the two Metropolitan teams battle for home-ice advantage. Columbus and Pittsburgh will more than likely meet in the first round of the postseason so expect a playoff-like atmosphere when the two square off this evening.

SHARK BITES
  • The visiting team is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games in this matchup.
  • The Penguins are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games at home against teams with winning records.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Blue Jackets' last 6 games.

For the Penguins, home ice has been everything this year. They’re 30-10 straight up at the PPG Paints Arena but just 18-20 straight up on the road. Although banged up, Pittsburgh should fight to the bitter end tonight to defend its second-place position in the Metro and when you consider that the Blue Jackets have lost three straight heading into this matchup, the Pens SHOULD have a great shot at the W.

For the Jackets, Sergei Bobrovsky has been everything this year. He’s earned a .934 save percentage overall but has, however, dropped three consecutive starts against teams bound for the playoffs.

With the Rangers still capable of passing the Jackets in the Metro, Columbus will be highly motivated this evening and I don’t hate a bet on their +135 moneyline. Pittsburgh is still getting healthy and if Bobrovsky is on his game, which saw him post a 1.09 goals-against average in March, these teams will once again swap places in the division.

The money is coming in heavily on the OVER 5.5 but I think that’s a bit of a square play. If Matt Murray is sharp, I have a hard time seeing this one turn into a barnburner.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Sportsbooks such as Bovada had the Pittsburgh Penguins as -153 moneyline favorites in this particular NHL betting matchup earlier. The over under total, meanwhile, was set early at 5.5 before betting started to move the line at Bet365.

Odds Shark score prediction models pick a 3.4-2.2 result in favor of the Blue Jackets today. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

This season the Pittsburgh Penguins are 48-19-11 overall while the Columbus Blue Jackets are 49-21-8. As for the totals, Pittsburgh is 45-28-5 on the OU, and Columbus is 30-42-6. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs Columbus injuries news.

This game matches up the No. 10 (Pittsburgh Penguins) and the No. 24 (Columbus Blue Jackets) teams according to our current NHL Power Rankings.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Pittsburgh Penguins No. 1-ranked offense (3.41 goals per game) against a Columbus Blue Jackets defense that ranks No. 2 at 2.31 goals per game allowed. The Penguins powerplay has clicked at a 22.62% rate while the Blue Jackets have a 82.94% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

The Blue Jackets were a 3-2 loser in their most recent outing at home against the Capitals. That made winners of bettors who got Washington at -115 on the moneyline, while the total score (5) was good news for OVER bettors.

In their last action, Pittsburgh was a 3-2 winner at home against the Hurricanes. Bettors on Pittsburgh at -190 on the moneyline collected their winnings from that game, while the total score (5) sent UNDER bettors home happy as well.

Betting Trends
  • Columbus is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Columbus is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Columbus's last 6 games
  • Columbus is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
  • Pittsburgh is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Pittsburgh is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
  • Pittsburgh is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home
  • Pittsburgh is 17-6 SU in its last 23 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Columbus home to Winnipeg, Thursday, April 6th
Pittsburgh at New Jersey, Thursday, April 6th

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