Friday night hockey has finally arrived on this St. Patrick’s Day as the Columbus Blue Jackets head out west to take on the Anaheim Ducks. Without further ado, let’s take a look at our NHL odds series where our Blue Jackets-Ducks prediction and pick will be made.

Hitting a brick wall at full force of late, the 21-39-7 Columbus Blue Jackets are looking forward to turning the page on this season as they have lost five of their last six games including most recently against the Kings in a 4-1 defeat.

Similar things could be said about the Anaheim Ducks during this year, as they too have struggled for a majority of the regular season. As it stands, Anaheim has been only slightly better than Columbus with a 22-36-10 record and have also posted an underwhelming 11-17-3 mark on their home ice.

Here are the Blue Jackets-Ducks NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NHL Odds: Blue Jackets-Ducks Odds

Columbus Blue Jackets: +1.5 (-255)

Anaheim Ducks: -1.5 (+205)

Over: 6.5 (-134)

Under: 6.5 (+110)

How To Watch Blue Jackets vs. Ducks


Stream: ESPN+

Time: 10:00 ET/7:00 PT

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Why The Blue Jackets Could Cover The Spread

Although there isn’t a whole lot to play for on either side in this mediocre contest, the Blue Jackets desperately could use a win to kickstart a confident finish to this let-down of a regular season that has seen them post the lowest point total in the NHL with a few weeks to go before the looming offseason. A year ago, it was Columbus that hovered around the .500 mark, but they have seemed to take a big step back only 12 months later as the Blue Jackets are on pace to finish with fewer points than they did during the 2021-2022 campaign.

Regardless of this year’s team scuffling ways, the raw numbers on paper suggest that Columbus is the better team in comparison to Anaheim. While the Jackets are only averaging 2.54 goals per contest, it may be up to whoever is in net for Columbus as not surrendering soft goals and standing stout defensively will prove to be key if the Blue Jackets are going to cover. Conversely enough, the Blue Jackets’ best bet is to play a physical brand of hockey that involves a lot of hitting and punishing the Ducks whenever they cross the Columbus blue line.

In addition, playing extremely gritty on the penalty kill will prove to do wonders as well. At first glance, Columbus kills off roughly 75% of power-plays and will need to establish a presence in this area whenever Anaheim has a chance to do damage on the extra-man advantage.

Fortunately, Columbus does happen to boast one of the top skaters on the ice in this one in left-winger Johnny Gaudreau. In his first year coming to town after nine years in Calgary, “Johnny Hockey” has the skill set to put Columbus us on his back en route to a spread-covering triumph.

Why The Ducks Could Cover The Spread

Arguably, the Ducks have forgotten what it’s like to swim and are instead acting like a sinking ship with no sign of help anytime soon. Regardless, Anaheim will be equipped with a matchup versus Columbus that is extremely winnable, especially in front of the home crowd.

With a below-average record against the spread at 32-36 this year, the main struggle for the Ducks that has been happening all too often of late is their inability to consistently put up shots on net. In fact, the Ducks have quacked their way to a league-low average of 24.8 shots per game as their offense has floundered more than a kid on a merry-go-round.

To make matters worse, the Ducks have given up 11 goals in their prior pair of losses to the Islanders and Predators, as it has been the defensive effort of Anaheim that hasn’t done the team any favors whatsoever. Since the Ducks have been giving up way too many open shots on net, goalie John Gibson will need to provide the role of being the ultimate equalizer with a shut-down performance. Although Gibson has had better campaigns in his tenth season with the Ducks, it appears that the 29-year-old net-minder is due eventually after giving up an immense eleven goals combined in his last couple of stars.

Final Blue Jackets-Ducks Prediction & Pick

In this battle between the bad and the ugly, this matchup will come down to simply who wants it more. Not to mention, but it is hard to imagine either one of these squads winning by multiple goals, so it is probably smart to side with the Blue Jackets in this one.

Final Blue Jackets-Ducks Prediction & Pick: Blue Jackets +1.5 (-255)