The Boston Bruins (33-18-4) visit the Columbus Blue Jackets (28-25-2) Saturday at Nationwide Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET (NHL Network). Below, we look at the Bruins vs. Blue Jackets odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
Boston enters this tussle winners of six of its last seven games. The Bruins disposed of the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 Thursday and have been getting contributions from reliable and unlikely sources alike. RW David Pastrnak has 7 goals in as many games, and C Craig Smith broke out with a hat trick Thursday.
Columbus nearly pulled off the upset Friday but was downed 4-3 in overtime by the Los Angeles Kings. RW Patrik Laine remains ablaze with 15 goals in the last 14 games.
Bruins at Blue Jackets odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Money line: Bruins -220 (bet $220 to win $100) | Blue Jackets +175 (bet $100 to win $175)
Against the spread (ATS): Bruins -1.5 (+120) | Blue Jackets +1.5 (-150)
Over/Under (O/U): 5.5 (O: -122 | U: -102)
Bruins at Blue Jackets projected goalies
Jeremy Swayman (14-7-3, 1.95 GAA, .930 SV%, 3 SO) vs. Jean-Francois Berube (3-1-0, 3.25 GAA, .924 SV%, 0 SO)
The second-year man Swayman holds the NHL lead with a 1.95 GAA. He is 21-10-3 with a 1.82 GAA and a .934 SV% over the first 35 games of his career. The B’s have a clear advantage when he’s between the pipes. He played Monday and Thursday, which should have him fresh enough to lace them up for this one.
Berube has been a crash test dummy in his first four starts this season seeing an average of 42.5 shots per night. He has allowed at least 3 goals in each, but he has really stood his ground stopping 92.4% of them. He has been off for a week and enters this one rested for another barrage.
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Bruins at Blue Jackets odds, lines, picks and predictions
Bruins 4, Blue Jackets 1
The BRUINS (-220) are a good play even though they’re slightly above my limit for money line favorites.
The Blue Jackets lost a heartbreaker in overtime Friday, and the Bruins are on a tear. Boston has won six of seven games and has averaged 4.1 goals per game across that span. The B’s are also 5-1 in their last six on the road. With advantages across the board, including in rest, this one shouldn’t be close.
Against the spread
The BRUINS -1.5 (+120) aren’t a good puck line team at 22-33 on the year, but they are 16-12 against the puck line on the road. The Blue Jackets will have tired legs in their fourth game this week and on back-to-back nights. Back Boston here for a half-unit.
The UNDER 5.5 (-102) is the preferred route here, but it may get juiced up the closer we get to puck drop. The Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings between these two and 4-0 in the last four in Columbus. Boston should cover their end, but the wary Blue Jackets may not. Back the Under or avoid.
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