Where to place your money on the NHL slate for Thursday.
Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Moneyline: Panthers +110, Blue Jackets -125
Puckline: Panthers +1.5 (-260), Blue Jackets -1.5 (+220)
Betting Total: 5.5 goals (Over -110, Under +105)
Among the NHL Eastern Conference matchups on Thursday night is a clash between the Florida Panthers and the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m.).
Florida is riding a five-game winning streak heading into Columbus but is winless against the Blue Jackets in their last five meetings. This is among the conflicting trends that make the outcome look like a coin-toss. However, the Under (5.5 goals) looks like a strong play here.
Roberto Luongo has been rock solid since returning from injury, posting a .951 save percentage and leading his club to four straight victories. His opposite number, Sergei Bobrovsky, has had a fine 2018 but has been in peak form over his last three starts (all wins), posting a .966 save percentage.
Both clubs have been trending under as well, as the Panthers have a 0-5-3 Over/Under record over their last eight games, while the Blue Jackets have gone below the total in six of their last seven tilts. This particular matchup has trended strongly toward the Under, going 13-6-1 over the last 20 meetings.
Prediction: Panthers win, 3-1
Nashville Predators at Arizona Coyotes
Moneyline: Predators -145, Coyotes +130
Puckline: Predators -1.5 (+185), Coyotes +1.5 (-215)
Betting Total: 5.5 goals (Over -115, Under +105)
The Nashville Predators (13-4-1) will look to continue their run of road success in 2018 (8-1-1) when they pay a visit to the Arizona Coyotes (8-8-1) on Thursday night (9 p.m.).
In addition to being an excellent road team, Nashville excels at finding the back of the net, as they’re seventh in scoring at 3.39 goals per game. Arizona lags behind, as they’re 28th in that department (2.71 goals per game). Filip Forsberg, the Predators’ leading scorer at 12 goals, just broke out of a recent slump by scoring twice against the Sharks on Tuesday night. Viktor Arvidsson has picked up the slack of late, scoring seven points over the last five games.
Nashville has also gotten stellar goaltending from Pekka Rinne, as usual. He’s allowed just three goals over his last four starts since returning from the injured reserve. The Coyotes’ Darcy Kuemper has been far less impressive, playing to a 2.99 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He was chased after allowing five goals on 17 shots against the Red Wings when last seen.
Prediction: Predators win, 3-2
The play: Panthers vs. Blue Jackets Under 5.5 goals (+105), Predators Moneyline Parlay (+246)