The Philadelphia Flyers will open their season against the Columbus Bluejackets for a battle in Ohio. We're on the ice, sharing our NHL odds series, making a Flyers-Blue Jackets prediction, and pick while showing you how to watch.

The Flyers went 31-38-13, enduring another terrible season. Now, they hope to make some progress in the upcoming season. The Flyers have high hopes for improvement as they will have two of their better players back after they missed an entire season due to injuries. Thus, they hope it will give them a boost. Coach John Tortorella looks for more grit and scoring. Moreover, he wants health. Tortorella will hope to fix an offense that was 29th in goals per game and 32nd on the powerplay.

The Blue Jackets went 25-48-9 while struggling again to a 31st-place finish in the league. Now, they hope to improve a team filled with young talent. Mike Babcock was the original head coach the Jackets hired. However, a scandal caused him to resign. The Blue Jackets hired Pascal Vincent to replace him. Thus, the Jackets hope for some stability now. Vincent will look to fix a team that ranked 30th in goals per game and 31st in goals allowed. Additionally, he looks to fix a powerplay that ranked 26th in the league and a penalty kill that was 25th.

The Flyers and Blue Jackets split the season series last season, with the home team winning each game. Furthermore, three of the four games were one-score finals.

Here are the NHL Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

NHL Odds: Flyers vs. Blue Jackets Odds

Philadelphia Flyers: +1.5 (-230)

Columbus Blue Jackets: -1.5 (+188)

Over: 6.5 (-115)

Under: 6.5 (-105)

How to Watch Flyers vs. Blue Jackets

Time: 7:10 PM ET/4:10 PM PT


Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Flyers Will Cover The Spread

The Flyers believe they are better than their record indicated last season. Hence, they think good health will help them improve and possibly shoot them up in the standings and give them a chance to contend.

Sean Couturier did not play as he dealt with major back issues that required two operations. Also, Cam Atkinson also missed the season because of a neck injury. The Blue Jackets missed them both as they mustered only 220 goals, which was 29th in the NHL. Also, they endured six shutouts.

Travis Konecny carried the team as best as he could, finishing with 31 goals and 30 assists. Likewise, Owen Tippett added 27 goals and 22 assists. Defenseman Tony DeAngelo tacked on 11 goals and 31 assists. Ultimately, it was the best result for a team that lost Ivan Provorov.

The defense was just as bad as the offense. Unfortunately, they allowed 276 goals. The Flyers must do better to close out on pucks and play tighter along the edges. Thus, they can only get better from here. Carter Hart will be in the net and hopes to improve on a season where he went 22-23-10 with a goals-against average of 2.94 and a save percentage of .907.

The Flyers will cover the spread if they can get their scorers in good situations to produce. Likewise, the defense must protect the castle in front of Hart to avoid leaving him to dry.

Why The Blue Jackets Will Cover The Spread 

The Blue Jackets had some high hopes going into last season. Unfortunately, things did not go so well as they could not score consistently, and the defense failed once too many times.

Johnny Gaudreau finished with 21 goals and 53 assists, which was down from his 100-point output from the previous season. Patrik Laine had 22 goals and 30 assists. However, no other players did much to help, and the other lines struggled.

Adam Fantilli fell to the Blue Jackets when the Anaheim Ducks chose Leo Carlson with the second pick. Thus, the Jackets hope he can be the key to their scoring issues on the second line.

The Blue Jackets hope defenseman Zach Werenski can stay healthy. So far, he has not shown the ability to stay upright. Werenski played 13 games last season and missed the majority of the season with ailing injuries. Thus, Columbus hopes to get a full season out of him. Goalie Elvis Merzlikins will likely get the start and went 7-18-2 with a 4.23 goals-against average and a save percentage of .892.

The Blue Jackets will cover the spread if their secondary lines can help support the first line. Also, the defense and goaltending must hold up.

Final Flyers-Blue Jackets Prediction & Pick

These teams are incredibly similar. Therefore, it is not difficult to see them playing a close game to start the season. The Flyers cover the spread here.

Final Flyers-Blue Jackets Prediction & Pick: Philadelphia Flyers: +1.5 (-230)