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Lightning, Blue Jackets Set to Go Low

The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to cash-in as favorites for their bettors against the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 21.

The Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t seen much action yet as they go into Columbus to play the Blue Jackets, but they look every bit like Stanley Cup contenders in a limited sample. The Lightning (2-0 SU, 1-1 O/U) outscored the Chicago Blackhawks by a 10-3 count in two games and have won each of their past three meetings with the Blue Jackets (1-2-1 SU, 1-3 O/U), who are off to a slow start.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Date/Time: January 21, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Nationwide Arena
  • TV Coverage: NBCSN, FS-O
  • Opening Odds: Lightning -175 | O/U 6.5 (Line History)
  • Lightning vs Blue Jackets Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Tampa Bay came into this matchup as a whopping -175 favorite but has settled into the -165 range at the majority of sportsbooks. The total opened at 6.5 but has come down to 5.5, with the OVER at -120 in most spots and the UNDER at +100.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

There’s a lot to like about the Lightning’s quick start – but the top item on the list for Tampa Bay fans has to be Steven Stamkos’s incredible start. The former No. 1 overall pick, who has battled his fair share of injuries in the past, has two goals and three assists and remains affordable enough on daily fantasy slates to be considered a chalk play until further notice.

The key for the Lightning in Thursday’s game will be shaking off any rust that might have formed after they saw their two-game home series with the Dallas Stars postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Thursday will mark six days since the Lightning last played, and kicks off a four-game road trip in which they’ll play two games apiece against Columbus and Carolina.

Columbus News & Notes

The Blue Jackets did well to pick up three of a possible four points against the Detroit Red Wings, earning a 3-2 win before dropping a 3-2 overtime decision. That helped erase the sting of back-to-back season-opening losses to the Nashville Predators, but still leaves Columbus behind the pack in a Central Division that sees five teams tied for first place entering Thursday. 

Offense has been the biggest issue for the Blue Jackets so far. They’re averaging just two goals per game, with Alexandre Texier and Boone Jenner responsible for five of the team’s eight tallies. Texier is the only player worth considering when it comes to Columbus player props, as the only Blue Jackets skater averaging a point per game or better so far.

Betting Pick: UNDER 5.5 (+100)

Until the Blue Jackets get their offensive house in order, it’s hard to see them scoring enough goals to support the OVER – though their improved defense should cap the Lightning’s offensive upside.

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Shark Bites
  • Columbus is 1 of 3 teams without a power-play goal this season.
  • Tampa Bay is 5-1 in its past 6 games vs the Blue Jackets.
  • The UNDER is 15-5 in the last 20 meetings in Columbus.