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Islanders vs. Blue Jackets Pick – NHL October 20th

So about those Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets who have been on the cusp of success or the past years have seemed to completely gone backwards. We’re not even out of October though, so I’m not going to go too far, but a 0-6 start to the season is absolutely brutal. For a team like the Blue Jackets, they need they need to find some confidence to get going. 0-6 to start the season is not confidence. In fact, they haven’t been giving that much of a solid effort with the winless record. In all of their losses they have not loss by less than 2 goals. In four out of six they’ve lost by 3 or more goals, just not good hockey at all. The defense has just been getting wrecked for the Jackets and they haven’t been able to do much else to counter the poor play on the defensive end. The Leafs aren’t in a good place right now, they’re in a big rebuilding phase with Mike Babcock at the helm, but the Leafs were able to easily dispatch the Blue Jackets 6-3. The Leafs lack plenty of firepower, but their offense was able to put up 6 there.

The Blue Jackets search for their first win against the New York Islanders. This bet looks like a sure thing for the Islanders, but it isn’t always that easy. Are the Islanders going to treat this like a sure win and not show up? We have seen that happen before on many occasions, but even if the Isles take the Jackets lightly here, is it still enough to make up for it? I don’t know, because the Blue Jackets are a really bad hockey team. The price in this game makes about zero sense, though. This looks like it should be -165 or higher in favor of the Islanders. That isn’t what we’re getting here though, as the Isles are posted as -135 to -145 favorites depending on what sportsbook you use. Let’s look a little deeper into this matchup.

N.Y. Islanders vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Islanders have had a pretty nice to the start of the season, as expected. The Isles should be competing at the end of the season for a top spot in the NHL. They can only get better from last year, where they had a breakout season. John Tavares is in his prime now and gathering more experience, I look for him to continue to get better as well as the rest of the team. Like the Mets taking over the Yankees of New York supremacy, it might be the Islanders taking over the Rangers before long in New York. Looking at longevity alone, the Islanders look to be in better shape in the long run. The Islanders have averaged 3.4 goals per game this season and have scored 14 goals in their last three games. However, the defense could be better with 3 goals allowed per game.

That is a pretty strong number compared to the Blue Jackets. After six games this season, the Blue Jackets are surrendering 5 goals per game. This isn’t baseball, this is hockey, teams just don’t do that. They have allowed a whopping 30 goals this season in just six attempts on the ice. On paper it looks like the Blue Jackets should be a shooting gallery for the Islanders. The price of this game scares me, though. The Blue Jackets have to win sooner or later and it might be this one, but I don’t care who wins this one, because I think the strongest play in this matchup is the OVER 5.5.

PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)