NHL Hockey Betting: Detroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets

by James Murphy in NHL  / November 20, 2019

To be fair, on most nights the Detroit Red Wings don’t *look* like the worst team in the NHL. Numbers don’t lie, however, and they enter a big Thursday night of NHL hockey action with a record of 7-13-3 and 17 points. That puts them in a tie with the Western Conference Los Angeles Kings for the lowest point total in the NHL. They’ll try to reverse their poor form and end a three game losing streak as they head to Nationwide Arena to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets aren’t far removed from the Eastern Conference basement though after a Summer when they lost a ton of talent that wasn’t unexpected. If anything, they’ve been more competitive than anticipated and sit at 8-8-4 for 20 points. They’ve been nothing if not consistent both at home and on the road. At home, the Jackets are 5-5-1. On the road, they’re 3-3-3. They had lost 7 of 8 near the end of October/beginning of November but they’re coming off a pair of wins against tough opponents beating St. Louis 3-2 in OT last Friday and Montreal 5-2 on Tuesday.

Statistically speaking, the Red Wings are a disaster. They’re dead last in team offense scoring a paltry 2.35 goals per game. They’re also dead last in team defense allowing 3.70 goals per game against. This combination gives them the worst goals scored/conceded differential in the NHL at -1.35 goals per game. Only Los Angeles and New Jersey have a negative differential of greater than one. The Wings’ special teams haven’t been much better thought at least they’re not in last place in either power play or penalty kill. They’re #25 on the power play connecting on 15.1% of man advantage opportunities and #29-T on the penalty kill at 72.2%.

Columbus hasn’t fared much better. They’re in a three way tie for the #28 scoring offense in the NHL with Calgary and New Jersey putting up just 2.50 goals per game. The Jackets are a reasonable #20 in team defense allowing 3.20 goals per game though special teams have also been a disaster for Columbus. In fact, they’ve got a very similar special teams statistical profile as their opponents. Columbus is the #24 power play in the league ahead of Detroit at #25 by fractions. They do have a better penalty kill thought it has been far from great at #22 (77.6%).

Even though they might look similar statistically, every other metric indicates that Columbus is the better team. Detroit has been awful on the road winning only 3 of 12 away from home (3-9-3). They’ve been at their worst when playing opponents with losing records. Against foes under .500 they’re 2-9 -6 units this season. The Jackets have dominated head to head play in the series winning 5 of the last 6 and they should get the ‘W’ here.

Our Pick

James Murphy

James Murphy is a preeminent authority on the international gambling industry and has made frequent appearances in the mainstream media including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNBC and NPR. He has previously worked as a radio and podcasting host where he broadcast to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy also serves as an odds making consultant for sports and ‘non-sport novelty bets’ covering the entertainment industry, politics, technology, financial markets and just about everything else.

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