Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Thursday, Las Vegas Odds, NHL Sports Betting, Picks and Predictions

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Columbus at Pittsburgh, NHL Sports Betting Lines
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 21, 2017
Where: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, TVA, FSN Ohio (Columbus), AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh
Team Live in game Betting at bovada-logo-top-book Puck Line Money Line Total
55 Columbus Blue Jackets +1½ -215 +142 Ov 5½ -105
56 Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ +185 -157 Un 5½ -105
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The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Pittsburgh Penguins will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at PPG PAINTS Arena.

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (21-13-1): Leading scorer Artemi Panarin (28 points) has been kept off the scoresheet in three straight games, but Alexander Wennberg has picked it up with two goals and three assists in his last four contests. Markus Nutivaara moved up to the top defensive pair with Jones on Wednesday as Zach Werenski (10 goals) missed his first game of the season due to an undisclosed injury. Cam Atkinson notched a pair of assists against Toronto and has registered four in his last five games but has not scored a goal in his past 11 contests.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (17-15-3): Pittsburgh acquired 24-year-old defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from Dallas on Tuesday, and the 6-7 former first-round pick could make his debut with the team against Columbus. “I just want to be another piece of the puzzle, come in and do what I can to contribute,” Oleksiak told reporters. “I’m not expecting to do too much. I just want to stick to my game, hopefully that helps us win some games.” Phil Kessel leads the team with 38 points while Crosby is next with 33 and Evgeni Malkin has recorded 31, including goals in each of his last two contests.

Oddsmakers opened the Penguins as -157-moneyline favorites versus the Blue Jackets, while the game’s total opened at 5.5.

The Pittsburgh Penguins look to begin turning things around before the holidays as they host the Metropolitan Division-rival Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday for the first of two meetings within a week. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions open a three-game homestand after losing five of their last seven contests, including a 4-2 setback at Colorado on Monday.

“We need to find a way to put some wins together,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby told reporters. “You look at the division, how tight things are, these are big games. We need the points and we want to make sure we finish strong before the Christmas break.” The Penguins have managed 11 goals in their last five games and none from the power play (0-for-13) in the last four as they prepare to face the Blue Jackets, who ended a rough stretch with a 4-2 victory at Toronto on Wednesday. Columbus, which also visits Pittsburgh on Dec. 27, allowed a total of 20 goals while losing three of its previous four contests before backup Joonas Korpisalo turned aside 39 shots and defenseman Seth Jones scored for the third time in four games. “We just looked like a different team,” Jones told reporters. “We did all the right things away from the puck, and that gave us opportunities to score goals.”

Where to bet on Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins?

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NHL Hockey Betting Tips

1. Columbus G Sergei Bobrovsky (17-10-1, .919 save percentage) should be back in net after allowing 18 goals over his last four contests.

2. Pittsburgh RW Patric Hornqvist (upper body) missed the team’s last game but practiced Wednesday and will be a game-time decision.

3. The Penguins have won five of the last six meetings, including playoffs, and are 6-1-1 in their last eight against the Blue Jackets.

Vegas Coverage pick and prediction:

Picks: Pittsburgh Penguins will win outright at -157 and the game will go over 5½ goals according to scamdicappersscamdicappers.com.

PREDICTION: Penguins 5, Blue Jackets 3 at .

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