NHL Betting: St. Louis Blues at Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL Betting:  St. Louis Blues at Columbus Blue Jackets

It’ll be the ‘battle of the blue’ in Columbus, Ohio as the hometown Blue Jackets host the St. Louis Blues. These teams have been diametric opposites of each other this season–the Blues started strong and then slumped but have been playing good hockey of late. The Jackets started slow, heated up dramatically mid season and have now struggled in the past couple of games. The Blues are trying to improve their position in the Western Conference standings and looking to make a strong run in the postseason after a disappointing exit last year. The Jackets are trying to fight their way through a tough, tightly packed conference to make the postseason for the second time in franchise history.

The Western Conference of the NHL is a hard fought affair every season and even in a shortened campaign its no different this year. The Blues have eight regular season games remaining and while catching the first place Chicago Blackhawks might be a tall order they’re definitely in a position to move up in the standings and secure home ice advantage. St. Louis comes into this game with 48 points and in sixth place in the conference. They’re 1 point behind 5th place San Jose, 2 points behind 4th place Los Angeles and 4 points behind 3rd place Vancouver. Columbus is currently in 11th place but that’s just 3 points behind 8th place Detroit and 5 points behind 7th place Minnesota. The problem for the Jackets right now is that they’re running out of time and every team ahead of them in the standings with the exception of Minnesota has a winning record in the last ten games. Even if they continue to play well they may need to cross their fingers and hope that someone above them goes into a slump.

We’ll back the Blues in this matchup for a couple of reasons. They’re in better form at the moment having won six straight games and seven of their last 10. They’ve also dominated head to head play against the Blue Jackets–St. Louis has won 11 of the last 15 meetings overall and five of the last seven in Columbus. They’ve also won every game between the two teams this year. St. Louis did play last night but that could be countered by a possible Columbus ‘lookahead’ to Saturday’s game against Minnesota.