Sportsbooks Expect Lightning To Sink Columbus Blue Jackets On Wednesday

Posted on August 18, 2020 - Last Updated on August 24, 2020

If Columbus evades elimination in Wednesday’s game five against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it will defy sportsbooks’ expectations. The Blue Jackets are one of the day’s longest shots to win.

Tampa Bay comes into game five with a 3-1 series lead, so it’s do or die for Columbus. Ohioans can show their faith by staking the Blue Jackets to win at legal sportsbooks in three neighboring states.

The latest Blue Jackets playoff odds

When the puck drops at noon ET on Wednesday, Columbus will be skating for its season. Online sportsbooks in three states that neighbor Ohio will have plenty of action on the game.

Although sports betting remains illegal in Ohio, legal sportsbooks are up and running online in Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Ohioans can cross the state lines and place legal bets in any of those three states. Sportsbook options include:

  • BetAmerica – IN and PA
  • BetMGM – IN, PA, WV
  • BetRivers – IN and PA
  • Caesars – IN and PA
  • DraftKings – IN, PA, WV
  • FanDuel – IN, PA, WV
  • PointsBet – IN
  • William Hill – PA

While BetMGM and DraftKings have the Blue Jackets as +155 underdogs in game five, FanDuel has even longer +165 odds on a Columbus win on NBC Sports Network. The puck line is a consensus 1.5 at all three of those sportsbooks, with the best Blue Jackets odds of -180 on FanDuel as well.

BetMGM and DraftKings set their totals at five for the game while FanDuel’s total rests at 5.5. FanDuel is offering +145 odds on the over right now.

Some measurements suggest that may not be the wager to make, however. In each of Columbus’ last five games against the Lightning coming off a loss, the under has hit.

There are other trends that Ohio bettors should weigh before crossing state lines to place wagers. One of them offers some hope for Columbus fans.

Things to know before you bet on CBJ-TB on Wednesday

Playing on a Wednesday has had a unique twist in Blue Jackets’ games. In all of the last nine games Columbus has played on Wednesdays, the teams have combined for at least two goals in the opening periods of those games.

Two other trends involve Tampa Bay coming off a win, and both are good news for the Blue Jackets. For starters, opponents have outscored the Lightning in the first periods of four of Tampa Bay’s last five games coming off a victory.

Even more enticing for Columbus supporters is the fact that in five of the Lightning’s last six attempts to win two games in a row, they have failed. Basing your wager on that stat alone may prove foolhardy, however, as Tampa Bay has won 42 of its last 68 games as the favorite.

Perhaps the most significant stat for this game, however, is the Blue Jackets’ performance against the puck line. Columbus comes in 47-32 in that category, fourth-best in the NHL.

All three of the Blue Jackets’ losses in this series have been by a mere goal, so taking Columbus on the puck line for Wednesday looks like a smart bet.

If the Blue Jackets can win outright on Wednesday, they would give Ohioans another reason to make a short trip across a state line later this week.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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