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Calgary Flames vs. Columbus Blue Jackets December 9 Betting Preview
We're all about finding the positives in adverse situations, learning, and improving. The Columbus Blue Jackets got back up after a loss to battle the Buffalo Sabres. Then, Tage Thompson had a night at CBJ's expense, scoring five goals and leading the Sabres to a 9-4 demolishing of our Blue Jackets.
The positives? We hit the over and told you that the Sabres were likely to win and Thompson was a prime prop bet target.
There's no time for the Blue Jackets to feel sorry for themselves, as tonight things get a little emotional when Johnny Gaudreau and the Blue Jackets face his former team, the Calgary Flames, for the first time. We'll preview CBJ and the Flames before giving our betting predictions for Friday's betting preview.
Columbus Blue Jackets Preview
After the 9-4 beating by the Sabres, CBJ now has an 8-15-2 record, which happens to be one of the worst in the NHL. The Blue Jackets have lost three straight games and four of their last five. Four games ended in at least a 1.5-goal spread, while only the loss to the Sabres hit the over.
CBJ is now averaging 2.64 goals per game on 29.9 shots while giving up 4.12 goals on 35.9 shots. The powerplay is stuck at nine powerplay goals and now converting on 13.8 percent of their powerplays.
So, who do you start after both goalies combine to make twenty-one saves in a 9-4 loss? Coach Larsen has a tough decision to make, considering Elvis Merzlikins has started the last two games while Joonas Korpisalo has made appearances in three of the last four games.
If Korpisalo gets the start, he has a 4-5-1 record, a 3.65 goals-against average, and a .899 save percentage. If Merzlikins gets his third straight start, he has a 2-7-0 record, a 5.06 goals-against average, and a .856 save percentage.
Calgary Flames Preview
Alright, fellow Ohioans, we knew this day would come. The Calgary Flames are in town to take on their former superstar Johnny Gaudreau for the first time since he signed with CBJ in the offseason.
The Flames enter Friday night's matchup with a 13-10-3 record. Calgary has won their last three games and four of their last five. The Flames have hit the over in three of their last five games, with three games ending in at least a 1.5-goal spread.
Calgary averages 3.04 goals per game on 34.2 shots while giving up 3.00 goals on 28.0 shots per game. Calgary's powerplay has scored eighteen powerplay goals and is converting on 20.6 percent of their chances.
In their last game, the Calgary Flames overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Nazem Kadri, Blake Coleman, and Rasmus Andersson scored for Calgary, while Tyler Toffoli scored twice in the win. Dan Vladar made twenty-five saves to get the win.
Vladar has started the last three games and four of the last five. We expect Vladar to start against Toronto on Saturday night, meaning we expect the Flames struggling number-one goalie Jacob Markstrom to get the start in Columbus. Markstrom has an 8-6-2 record, with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .889 save percentage.
Betting Odds And Predictions
As mentioned, the Blue Jackets are (+200) underdogs on the moneyline, while the Flames are listed at (-250) odds.
CBJ is listed at +1.5 on the puck line spread, with (-121) odds, while the Flames are listed at -1.5 with (+100) odds. Calgary has an 11-15 record against the spread, while Columbus is 11-14 against the spread.
Our first prediction, however, is to take the over. Markstrom will eventually find his game and could easily be spectacular, or he could continue to struggle and let in a few bad goals early. Regardless, CBJ hits the over often, and Calgary's scoring has come alive recently.
Our second prediction is another long night for our Blue Jackets. Calgary is a veteran team that struggled to get into gear early in the season but seems to be gathering steam and playing better hockey recently. The Flames are going to extend their winning streak to four.
Take the Flames on the moneyline. CBJ could cover the spread, especially if they score a couple of goals early. Calgary rarely shows up on time for games and starts games slowly often. For CBJ to have a chance to win or cover the spread, they need to score early.
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