Heading toward a first-round playoff matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins will visit the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night as +115 underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston already has clinched a playoff spot, but has seen its lead over third-place Toronto narrowed to just four points going into Tuesday night’s Bruins vs. Blue Jackets betting matchup at Nationwide Arena.
The Bruins have stumbled down the stretch, falling to defeat in three of four contests, capped by a 6-3 loss in Detroit as heavy -215 chalk to open their current three-game road trip on Sunday.
The team has surrendered 4.5 goals per game over their past four contests after allowing just five total goals over their previous four outings. However, despite their recent struggles to pick up points, Boston remains entrenched among the favorites on the Stanley Cup odds, trailing only Tampa Bay and Calgary as a solid -900 wager.
While the Bruins jockey for playoff positioning, the Blue Jackets still have work to do to clinch a postseason berth. Pegged as -135 favorites in Tuesday’s contest, the Blue Jackets remain locked in a tight three-way race with the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens for the Eastern Conference’s two wild card berths.
The Blue Jackets have seized control of their own playoff destiny by tallying five straight victories. Columbus now sits one point up on the Hurricanes, who visit the Maple Leafs on Tuesday as +105 underdogs, and holds a two-point edge on the Canadiens, who host the Lightning as +100 home underdogs.
A victory over the Bruins, combined with a loss by Montreal, is all it takes for Columbus to return to the playoffs for a third straight year. The Blue Jackets have enjoyed regular success in recent home dates with Boston, posting wins in three straight meetings since October 2016, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, capped by a decisive 7-4 victory as narrow -105 home underdogs on March 12.
Following Tuesday’s contest, the Bruins wrap up their road trip in Minnesota on Thursday before returning home to close out their schedule against the Lightning on Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins have taken three straight from the Wild, but could be facing a desperate Minnesota squad that likely has to run the table in their final three outings to have any chance of reaching the playoffs. Conversely, Boston has dropped three of four regular-season dates to league-leading Tampa Bay, capped by a 5-4 loss at TD Garden on March 25.