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Coyotes Blue Jackets Betting – Coyotes Look To Pick Up Play On The Road At Columbus This Saturday

Posted by on 3/14/2013 10:14:39 PM

The Phoenix Coyotes have made playoff hockey an expectation in an online sports betting market where the franchise must do everything they can to stay relevant. Now making the postseason may come down to how the team plays when it is not in the desert. The Coyotes will look for a better effort on the road this weekend when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets. Phoenix has won just three times through its first 10 games as the visiting team, and now clash with a Blue Jackets’ team that has suddenly developed a reputation as being tough to play against.

Phoenix Coyotes @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Saturday March 16, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
NHL Sports Betting Line: Columbus – 120

Columbus was at the bottom of the Western Conference standings once again early on this year, before a five-game win streak suddenly elevated them in to the category of being a legitimate playoff threat. The Blue Jackets still have a long way to go to actually get there, but they are headed in the right direction and have been excellent at home.

NHL Betting Preview: Phoenix Coyotes

Consistency will be the key for a Coyotes’ team that has found multiple different ways to win games this season, whether it be with a five-goal performance or a tight low-scoring game. Phoenix ranks near the middle of the league in both goals for and goals against, but would like to see the latter number drop with better play from netminder Mike Smith. That will start with the team playing better defense in front of Smith, who is 11-7-2 with a 2.72 goals against average. The Coyotes don’t have a lot of firepower at the offensive end of the ice, but Mikkel Boedker is a budding star and Shane Doan has paced the team with nine goals this online sports betting season.

NHL Betting Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets don’t have a high-scoring offense either, but have taken a page out of the book of the Coyotes with strong defensive play and the ability to wear opponents down with their checking. Vinny Prospal has scored a team-leading nine goals and 15 points, but no other player has more than six markers this season. The biggest difference has been Columbus’ commitment to playing tough defense in front of netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been excellent in goal. Bobrovsky is 8-6-4 with a 2.19 goals against average and .923 save percentage, and if he keeps those numbers where they are the Blue Jackets will remain relevant.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

As good as Columbus has played of late, the Coyotes are in a tough position and looking to make a statement on the road where they have to be better. Phoenix matches up well against the Blue Jackets where its versatility will be key, so look for the Coyotes to take it to them from the outset by getting that early jump.

NHL Betting Pick: Phoenix Coyotes

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