Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Islanders December 29 Betting Preview
After a longer-than-expected Holiday break due to a postponed game against the Buffalo Sabres, the Columbus Blue Jackets are back in action and taking on the New York Islanders. We had a CBJ win as the last thing on our wish list before the break, but the Chicago Blackhawks had other ideas, defeating the Blue Jackets 4-1.
This is the third of four head-to-head matchups between the Blue Jackets and Islanders, with the Islanders winning both matchups by a one-goal margin.
Can the Blue Jackets, as (+200) underdogs, defeat the New York Islanders for the first time this year and simultaneously end a six-game losing streak?
Columbus Blue Jackets Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets are riding a six-game losing streak into Thursday's matchup and have a 10-21-2 record, ranking CBJ last in the Metropolitan Division. Columbus has hit the over twice in the last five games, while four games ended in at least a 1.5-goal spread.
The under is 7-0 in Columbus' last seven games against teams with winning records, while the under is 7-2 against Eastern Conference competition.
The Blue Jackets are ranked 27th in the league, averaging 2.7 goals per game, while CBJ ranks last (32nd) in goals against per game. Columbus' powerplay is ranked 30th, converting at 15.6 percent, while the penalty kill is ranked among the middle of the pack at 17th and operating at 77.9 percent.
As of publication, the Blue Jackets have three goalies on the roster. While Daniil Tarasov (2-8-1, 3.40 GAA) has played the last five games in a row, Tarasov will likely be sent to the AHL's Cleveland Monsters, with Joonas Korpisalo (4-5-1, 3.43 GAA) listed as active and Elvis Merzlikins (4-8-0, 4.68 GAA) as questionable but with both on the active roster. Considering the injuries this season, we're not sure who gets the start from CBJ's goaltending platoon.
New York Islanders Preview
The New York Islanders have a 20-14-2 record, ranked sixth in the Metropolitan Division, and have won the last two games and three of the last five games. The Islanders have won the previous two games by 5-1 scores.
In the last five games, four games have ended with at least a 1.5-goal spread, while two games hit the over of 6.5 goals. The over is 2-0-2 in the Islanders' last four games and 4-1-2 in the last seven games overall.
New York averages 3.3 goals per game, ranking the Islanders 11th in the NHL. The Islanders are ranked sixth overall in goals against per game, giving up 2.7 goals per game.
The Islanders are solid defensively, as the penalty killers are ranked fifth and operating at 81.8 percent . New York's powerplay is barely statistically better than CBJ, ranked 26th and converting at 18.3 percent.
With Semyon Varlamov (8-3-1, 2.65 GAA) listed on the injured reserve list, we expect Ilya Sorokin (12-11-1, 2.32 GAA) to start his fifth game in a row over veteran Cory Schneider, who has spent the past two seasons with the Bridgeport Islanders in the AHL.
Betting Odds And Predictions
We've got the Blue Jackets listed at (+200) on the moneyline, while the New York Islanders are the moneyline favorite at (-250).
The Blue Jackets are listed at +1.5 on the puck line spread, with (-122) odds. The Islanders are listed at -1.5 on the puck line spread, with (+100) odds.
Our prediction? We're taking the New York Islanders to win on the moneyline, winning the third game against the Blue Jackets this season and extending the Blue Jackets' losing streak to seven games. We're also taking the under because the Islanders don't give up a lot of goals and the Blue Jackets have trouble scoring.
As for a positive CBJ prediction, the Blue Jackets have a very good chance of covering the +1.5 goal spread, but the Blue Jackets have let us down recently, and we're hesitant to place a wager on the struggling Blue Jackets.
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