NHL Best Bets: Islanders vs. Blue Jackets Game Picks


March 24

The New York Islanders continue their fight for one of the two Eastern Conference wild-card positions as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

New York Islanders (-260) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (+210) Total: 6.5 (O -106, U -114) 

It’s been a rollercoaster season for the Islanders, who occupy the top wild-card position in the Eastern Conference. The same can’t be said for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who’ve underachieved, finding themselves near the basement of the standings. This matchup has favored the Islanders as they’ve won three straight by scores of 4-3, 3-2, and 2-1. 

Entering this contest, the Islanders have won three straight, posting a 7-2-1 record over their last ten contests, while the Blue Jackets are 3-6-1.

Looking toward the projected goalie matchup, the visiting Islanders are expected to start Ilya Sorokin, while the Blue Jackets should go with Elvis Merzlikins. The Islanders netminder has a 26-19-6 record with a .925 save percentage. Merzlikens has been inconsistent for the Jackets, owning a 7-17-2 record with a .880 save percentage. 

The Islanders should have the advantage in all facets and can’t afford to lose the two points to a basement-dwelling team. Target their moneyline odds of -260, even if the price isn’t generous. 

Best Bet: Islanders moneyline (-260)

The first three matchups between these clubs saw seven, five, and three goals scored. The total for tonight is set at 6.5, with the over priced at -106 and the under sitting at -114. Both teams have trouble scoring goals, while the Islanders are one of the best defensive teams in the league, sitting sixth in goals allowed. Over the Islanders’ last five games, they’ve seen seven or more goals scored in three, while the Blue Jackets have seen that in four. Still, two of the three games in the season series have gone under, and we don’t expect Columbus to put up much of a fight.

Best Bet: Under 6.5 (-114) 

There aren’t a lot of offensive players to target on the Islanders, but Bo Horvat is an intriguing option. He hasn’t provided the production the Islanders have expected, but this is a good matchup for him to break that trend. The Islanders center has tallied 36 goals and needs to find a way to contribute tonight, so target him to score at +164. 

Best Prop: Bo Horvat to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+164) 

Thumbnail photo via Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

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