I haven’t got some free NHL picks out in a few days but I enjoyed another profitable night with a 2-1 night on Thursday.
I had the under 6 between the Stars and Maple Leafs, a game that ended 3-2 in favor of Dallas.
I had the Senators over the Coyotes at +118 home underdogs, and that one worked out well in a 3-2 Sens win.
Finally, I had the Panthers over the Flyers as home favorites, however Philly dominated that one in a 6-2 Flyers road win.
All told, I notched a -.97-unit profit as my hot stretch continues into tonight’s seven-game Tuesday night schedule!
Season Record: 97-82-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Blue Jackets vs. Flyers from the Wells Fargo Center in Philly!
Blue Jackets vs. Flyers Betting Odds
- Blue Jackets (+138)
- Flyers (-153)
- Blue Jackets +1.5 (-182)
- Flyers (+162)
- Over 5.5 (+104)
- Under 5.5 (-115)
Blue Jackets vs. Flyers NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s check in with each of these clubs before we get into my final pick!
The Blue Jackets entered the All-Star break having won six games in a row, and they even won three of four coming out of it. However, such streaks don’t last forever and the Jackets will now enter this one tonight having lost each of their last five games.
The Blue Jackets have received fantastic goaltending this season which has helped morph them into one of the better defensive teams in the league, but this is very much a team that struggles on offense.
Columbus will also sit in 25th in terms of their road power play at 14.7%, and that power play has gone just 1 for 21 over their last nine games, good for a minuscule 4.8% clip in that time.
I mean, they’ve dropped five in a row despite allowing just 12 regulation goals in that time while they’ve allowed two more in overtime and lost their most recent game in a shootout despite putting 55 shots on the Devils on Sunday night.
That defense is actually the best in the NHL at home where they’ve allowed just 2.09 goals per game, but they do slip to 10th on the road with a 2.86 mark and also where Elvis Merzlikins has been much more human-like than he has been at home.
At home, Merzlikins has been unworldly to the tune of a 1.35 GAA and .957 Sv% on the season, but his numbers fall substantially to a 2.95 GAA and .905 Sv% on the road in 15 starts away home home.
This is also a Blue Jackets team that’s been ravaged by injuries.
The Blue Jackets will be without their best defenseman Seth Jones for the long haul with a broken ankle with regulars such as Cam Atkinson, Josh Anderson, Alexander Wennberg, Ryan Murray, Alexandre Texier and Joonas Korpisalo.
They’ve managed to be a solid road possession team, nonetheless.
The Jackets enter this one ranked 19th with a 48.34% Corsi For% but also 11th with a 50% Scoring Chances For% and ninth with a 50% High-Danger Chances For% at 5v5 on the road.
However, as noted, it hasn’t led to many goals and their 7.02% shooting rate at 5v5 on the road ranks 24th in the league.
This is a big one for both sides, of course, as the Jackets sit just one point ahead of the Flyers for the top Wild Card spot in the east, but Philly does own a game in hand and tonight’s matchup is a big swing game as a result.
The good news for the Flyers tonight is that this one is being played in Philly where the Flyers have gone 19-5-4 on the season compared to 13-15-3 on the road.
It’s difficult to find a number where the Flyers aren’t significantly better at home.
Their offense is much better at home where they sit fifth with 3.50 goals per game, although their power play has struggled at home of late and has slipped to 16th with a 20.8% clip on the season at the Wells Fargo Center.
It’s struggled at home of late, but more good news for the Flyers is that their power play is actually 3 for 8 (37.5%) over their last two games, but both came on the road.
The defensive end of the ice is the biggest difference for this team between their work on the road and at home.
At home, the Flyers rank second with 2.11 goals against per game on home ice where their penalty kill has been excellent with an 86.2% mark at home which puts them sixth league wide.
The Flyers have also delivered strong results in the possession game.
At 5v5 at home, the Flyers rank 11th with a 52.59% Corsi For%, 14th with a 52.88% Scoring Chances For% and 11th with a 54.10% High-Danger Chances For%.
They’ve also received a second-ranked .939 Sv% at 5v5 from their goaltending at home, thanks mostly to Carter Hart who gets the nod tonight.
Look no further than Hart’s splits if you want to see the difference between the Flyers at home and on the road.
On the road, the young netminder has been shelled to the tune of a 3.88 GAA and .855 Sv% on the season, going 3-10-1 in 17 appearances and 14 starts away from home.
At home, however, the Flyers’ No.1 has gone 14-2-2 with an eye-popping 1.41 GAA and .941 Sv% across 18 starts.
Hart allowed four goals in Tampa Bay on Saturday, but allowed just three total in a home-and-home set with the Panthers after returning from his injury that kept him out for almost four weeks.
This is a big one in the standings and these teams know it.
The Wild Card standings haven’t changed a whole lot of late as many teams in that vicinity have struggled of late, the Blue Jackets chief among them.
To me, it’s going to be difficult for this team to snap their win streak tonight.
The Flyers are just so good at home and at both ends of the ice and Hart’s home numbers rival those of Merzlikins at home where they’ve both been nearly unbeatable.
Considering how the Blue Jackets have fared on offense of late, how they’ve struggled all season to score and the injuries to some of their best offensive players, I just don’t see how they generate enough offense to win this game.
On the flip side, the Flyers have averaged 4.60 goals per game over their last five since being inexplicably shutout by a 5-0 score at home versus the Devils and outshot the Lightning 33-23 on Saturday but didn’t get the required goaltending despite going 2 for 5 on the power play and 5 for 5 on the penalty kill.
Both ends of their special teams have been real good of late, they’ve been scoring and they’ve been stout defensively at home all season.
I don’t mind laying the moneyline juice, but I think I’ll head towards the three-way moneyline and take the Flyers to win this one in the first 60 minutes at +100 odds.