Columbus Blue Jackets (8-13-4) vs. Boston Bruins (16-4-3)
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Boston Bruins 12/3/23 – The Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Boston Bruins on Sunday night in an inter-conference NHL matchup. Based on the standings, this appears to be a lopsided affair in favor of the Bruins. However, our free hockey predictions suggest this could be a closer game than expected.
The Blue Jackets have shown promise despite their less-than-stellar record in their offensive play, led by Zach Werenski and Boone Jenner. Both are key components in Columbus’ chances against Boston’s defensive system; Zach is known for his assists while Jenner can find ways to score. Ivan Provorov also brings depth to Columbus’ offense; yet facing Boston’s defence will pose a formidable test to Columbus.
Boston Bruins’ offensive lineup is equally potent. Led by right wing David Pastrnak – who boasts 36 points in 23 games – their attack is equally dynamic with scoring and assist abilities that complement those of Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle to provide one of the most dynamic offensive lineups in the league; their consistent performance poses a considerable threat to Columbus Blue Jackets defensive strategies.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Boston Bruins 12/3/23 Game Info
|Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 7:00 PM ET
Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins vs. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman
Elvis Merzlikins has faced a barrage of shots and scoring chances this year behind Columbus’ porous defense. His .911 save percentage is respectable considering the high volume of attempts against. Merzlikins has had to single-handedly keep the Blue Jackets competitive in games this season. If he can stand on his head Sunday night and turn aside 35+ shots, Columbus will have a chance to hang around. The Latvian netminder has struggled on the road this season, owning just a 1-5 record away from home. His save percentage dips to .903 on the highway compared to .918 at home. Facing one of the best offensive teams in the NHL in their home barn is not an ideal matchup for the Columbus keeper.
Jeremy Swayman has been stellar for Boston this season with his 2.18 GAA and .930 save percentage. The Bruins only allow 28.0 shots per game, so Swayman faces less rubber than Merzlikins behind Boston’s staunch defense. The Alaska native has won eight of his 12 starts and provided stable goalkeeping for the Black and Gold. As long as Swayman plays an average game Sunday night and makes the routine saves, Boston should not have issues holding Columbus’ weak offense at bay. The Blue Jackets sit 30th in scoring at just 2.40 goals per contest. Swayman only has four appearances against Columbus in his career but boasts a 2-0 record with a robust .946 save percentage.
NHL Odds/Point Spread: Boston Bruins -250, Total Odds: 6
In betting odds, the Bruins as sizable favorites at -250 on the moneyline. This equates to over a 70% implied probability of victory for Boston. Additionally, the Bruins are -1.5 (-120) favorites on the puck line. Based on the Bruins’ dominant 16-4-3 record compared to the Blue Jackets’ 8-13-4 mark, this large spread is warranted. Consider taking Boston on the puck line up to -1.5. The total is set at 6 goals. With Boston’s dynamic offense, the over has appeal. Four of the Bruins’ last five games have gone over 6 goals.
Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Trends
The under has hit in four straight Columbus games. They have struggled to reach three goals during this stretch. While their defense keeps games low-scoring, six total goals seems a bit high given recent trends. Additionally, the Blue Jackets are just 1-9 straight up in their last 10 road outings. They have lost four straight on the highway coming into Sunday night’s inter-conference clash.
Boston Bruins Betting Trends
The over has hit in four of Boston’s previous five overall. The over is also 7-3 in their last 10 games against Eastern Conference foes. Boston has protected home ice well this season, owning a 6-1 record at TD Garden. Continue riding the Bruins on home ice Sunday night.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Boston Bruins 12/3/23 Betting Picks
Riding the steaming hot Bruins as -250 home favorites offers value. Boston is outscoring opponents by over a goal per game this season. Meanwhile, Columbus has trouble generating offense and has dropped four straight on the road.
Our expert analysis picks anticipate Boston winning by multiple goals Sunday night. Take the puck line up to -1.5 (-120) in what projects as a lopsided Bruins victory.
Free Pick and Prediction: Boston Bruins 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 2.