In the only game on the NHL betting schedule tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks welcome a Columbus Blue Jackets team that will be on the back end of a traveling back-to-back and playing its seventh game in 11 days.
Chicago has picked up at least a point in five straight contests after starting the season 0-3 SU and getting outscored 14-6. The Blue Jackets are in decent form as well, collecting nine of a possible 12 points over their last six.
NHL odds have the home team as an even-money underdog with the total opening at 5.5, shaded to the Over.
Here are our free picks and predictions for Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Chicago Blackhawks, January 29 (8:00 ET).
Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks Betting Preview
Blue Jackets: Patrick Laine F (Out), Brandon Dubinsky F (Out), Gustav Nyquist F (Out).
Blackhawks: Alex DeBrincat F (Out), Brent Seabrook D (Out), Jonathan Toews F (Out), Kirby Dach F (Out), Adam Boqvist D (Out).
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Betting Trend to Know
Blue Jackets are 1-6 in their last 7 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation. Find more NHL betting trends for Blue Jackets vs. Blackhawks.
NHL Sharp Money and Line Movement ReportBy Patrick Everson
The moneyline at DraftKings opened a -110 pick 'em on the lone Friday night game and moved to Blue Jackets -136 by lunch hour. As of 5:15 p.m. ET, Columbus is at -125 for an 8 p.m. ET puck drop. It's two-way action with a lean toward the home 'dog, with Chicago getting 54 percent of bets and 59 percent of cash. The total opened 5.5 (Over -120), then shifted to 5.5 (Under -114) and is now 5.5 (Over -113). Ticket count is dead even, and 63 percent of money is on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
Despite being tagged as the underdog, the Blackhawks have a lot going for them heading into tonight’s game, considering many had Chicago as one of the worst teams in the league this year.
First off, they play a Columbus team that played less than 24 hours ago and had to travel from Columbus to Chicago, which is 350 miles. The BJ’s will also be on their seventh game since January 18 and despite their recent success – 3-1-2 SU over their last five – this schedule is daunting.
Secondly, the Blackhawks have been getting steady goaltending from undrafted rookie Kevin Lankinen, who is 2-0-2 with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage to begin his NHL career. Lankinen is coming off a 41-save, 2-1 shootout loss to the Predators on Wednesday, where the 'tendy single-handedly earned his team a point.
Chicago will be missing some big names (Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat) but so will the Blue Jackets. Already without Brandon Dubinsky and Gustav Nyquist, Columbus won’t have the services of forward Patrick Laine, who they acquired via trade last week and is being held up with COVID protocols.
The Blue Jackets are Bottom 10 in scoring on the year (2.57 per game) and have scored more than three goals just once in eight games this season. The Blackhawks have played just two games at home this season but picked up a pair of wins and outscored the Red Wings 10-3 in the process. We’re taking the home dog on a quiet NHL Friday night.
PREDICTION: Chicago Blackhawks ML (+100)
Since Lankinen has taken over the No. 1 job in the Windy City, the Blackhawks are 2-3 O/U as the netminder hasn’t allowed more than two goals in three straight starts. The team has played well in front of him defensively too, as after allowing 20 goals in its first four games, Chicago has conceded just six regulation goals over its four most recent contests.
The Blue Jackets picked up right where they left off last year in terms of their O/U game. Last season, John Tortorella’s club finished the year with an Under-profiting 28-43-2 O/U record. This year, they may just be 3-5 O/U but their lack of an offense has them as a tough team to back on an Over.
The BJ’s are scoring 2.57 goals per game since the beginning of last season, which is the third-worst mark in the league over that stretch. The powerplay is just 2-for-24 to begin the year—which also won’t help any Overs.
Also stymying the offense are the Blue Jackets’ turnover numbers. Columbus is one of the best teams in the league at not turning over the puck while also one of the worst teams at generating turnovers. Their top line of Alexandre Texier, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Nick Foligno is also one of the worst first lines in the league.
We don’t love taking Under 5.5’s, but with the offensive play of both teams of late, we aren’t expecting any fireworks from a pair of short benches.
PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (+100)
Blue Jackets vs Blackhawks Betting Card
- Chicago Blackhawks ML (+100)
- Under 5.5 (+100)
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