Columbus Blue Jackets (14-22-9) vs. Calgary Flames (21-20-5)
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Calgary Flames 1/25/24 – The NHL regular season brings an intriguing matchup on Thursday, as the Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Calgary Flames. Both teams have had their share of ups and downs this season, with Columbus struggling at 14-22-9 and Calgary displaying a slightly more balanced record of 21-20-5. This game presents a vital opportunity for both teams to advance in the standings. Fans and bettors looking for free hockey advice will find this game particularly interesting, given the contrasting styles and performances of the two teams.
The Columbus Blue Jackets offense, led by left wing Johnny Gaudreau and center Adam Fantilli, has shown flashes of brilliance despite the team’s overall struggles. Gaudreau has earned 29 points including 7 goals and 22 assists while Fantilli contributed 25 points from 11 goals and 14 assists for Columbus this season. Their effectiveness will be put through their paces against Calgary’s defense unit which boasts an excellent save percentage (0.912), making this challenge for Columbus even greater.
Conversely, Calgary’s offense led by centers Blake Coleman and Nazem Kadri has been more consistent. Coleman tallied 39 points from 20 goals and 19 assists, and Kadri contributed 37. Their offensive prowess will go against Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins’ impressive 0.905 save percentage that may thwart Calgary’s attacking threats; thus making this matchup between Calgary’s potency offensively and Columbus defense (in particular their goaltender’s performance) being key in deciding the game’s outcome.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Calgary Flames 1/25/24 Game Info
|Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 9:00 PM ET
Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins vs. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom
Elvis Merzlikins has struggled to find consistency between the pipes for Columbus this season. In 25 appearances, he has managed just eight wins compared to 15 losses and six defeats in extra time. His peripheral stats sit at a mediocre 3.26 goals against average and .905 save percentage. Merzlikins has allowed 76 goals on 800 shot attempts, needing to make 724 saves. He has also been average in shootouts, stopping just six of seven attempts. The Blue Jackets will need the Latvian netminder to raise his game against the Flames’ dangerous offense.
At the other end, Jacob Markström continues to provide steady goalkeeping for Calgary’s defense. In 26 starts, he has posted a respectable 13-11-2 record with two overtime losses. Markström owns a 2.59 GAA and .912 save percentage while allowing 67 goals on 764 shots faced. Like Merzlikins, he has been average in the shootout with just four stops on seven attempts. Markström plays a sound butterfly technique and matches up well against Columbus’ 27th-ranked scoring offense. He should supply the Flames with an edge in net if he brings his “A” game.
NHL Odds/Point Spread: TBD, Total Odds: TBD
The betting odds for this game are currently TBD, reflecting the unpredictable nature of the matchup. However, based on the teams’ records and recent performances, the Flames might enter as slight favorites. Bettors should consider the Flames’ stronger record and home advantage when evaluating the odds.
Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Trends
The Blue Jackets have been an extremely profitable bet when playing on the road this season, covering puck lines at a superb 14-5 clip. This indicates they play well as underdogs in opposing arenas. Columbus has also seen a lot of lamps lit in their last 26 home games, with the OVER cashing tickets in 13 of those contests. This shows a tendency for high-scoring affairs in their games. Furthermore, the Blue Jackets enter this matchup with positive momentum having gone 3-2 straight up and against the spread over their previous five outings. The OVER has also hit in three of their last five matchups.
Calgary Flames Betting Trends
The Flames have been less reliable for bettors at home this season, covering spreads at just a 12-13 rate in Calgary. However, goals have been plentiful in their recent games at the Saddledome with 11 of their last 21 contests going OVER the posted total. As for current form, Calgary has won four of their last five games straight up. They also covered the spread in three of those victories. Additionally, two of their previous five contests eclipsed the projected point total.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Calgary Flames 1/25/24 Betting Picks
Given the current form and trends, this game appears to be closely contested. The Flames, with their stronger overall record and home-ice advantage, might have a slight edge. However, Columbus’s road performance against the spread cannot be overlooked. My recommendation would lean towards the Flames, primarily due to their consistent offense and solid goaltending.
When considering prop bets, over/under options, and spread betting, it’s essential to consider the offensive capabilities of both teams and the recent trend towards higher-scoring games. The Flames’ consistent scoring, combined with the Blue Jackets’ resilience on the road, suggests a potential for a high-scoring affair.
Expert paid selections would likely favor Calgary, considering their overall steadier performance this season. However, the Blue Jackets’ recent form, especially on the road, could make them a viable underdog pick.
Free Pick and Prediction: Calgary Flames 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2