Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 9:15 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Columbus +123 over San Jose
7:07 PM EST. OT included. This season’s first half for the Blue Jackets was an unexpected disaster. A gauntlet of an early schedule combined with a couple of key injuries led to a 3-9-0 start. Then a mountain of injuries ended any chance they had to overcome it and nearly half the lineup is now filled with rookies or second-year players. Still, the Jackets went into Nashville two games ago, dominated and lost 2-1. Last game they had a 3-0 lead and then fell asleep. Three games ago they put up a fight against the Rangers and four games ago they beat Detroit. The Jackets are going to be a much tougher out in the second half after Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine underachieved in the second half. Make no mistake that pair is creating chances. Kirill Marchenko, a natural scorer, notched his first NHL hat trick on Jan. 7 against the Hurricanes while logging just 13:54 on 19 shifts. Marchenko also scored his first nine goals in 17 games after being recalled Dec. 5 from the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League.
San Jose has three wins in their last 10 games while Columbus has two wins in their last 10 games but we pointed out how the Jackets could easily be on a run of four wins in a row. Furthermore, Columbus is 10-15 at home overall so they have not been an easy target at home. Additionally, San Jose has played the 30th ranked Strength of Schedule (SOS) in the NHL while the Jackets SOS ranks 11th. It’s also worth noting that the Sharkies will play their first game of a long and difficult eight game road trip that starts here. They have been off since Wednesday and they play in Boston tomorrow so it would not be a bit of a surprise to witness this garbage intruder to overlook this completely meaningless game in anticipation of so much more on the horizon. San Jose as road chalk is almost instant fade material.
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Columbus +123 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.46)