By Stephen Nover

Blue Jackets plus $1.55 hosting Predators 

You need certain factors to get behind an underdog in this high of a price range. The Blue Jackets have enough going in this spot to be worth a shot. 

Here are three key elements that make Columbus worthy of pulling the upset:

No. 1: Letdown situation for Nashville. The Predators are off their biggest win and most intense game of the season, nipping the Stars, 2-1, in overtime at home this past Saturday night. It’s going to be difficult for the Predators to reach that sky-high level facing the last place team in their Central Division. 

No. 2: The Blue Jackets still are playing hard. Tough guy Columbus coach John Tortorella wouldn’t have it any other way. Columbus is 1-3 in its last four games. The victory was at home against the Red Wings. The losses were all on the road – 3-1 to the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning with Tampa Bay scoring an empty-net goal to account for the third goal, 4-3 to the Lightning in overtime and 2-1 in overtime this past Saturday to the Hurricanes. 

No. 3: Columbus has a hot goalie. Elvis Merzlikins is below the radar. He has been outstanding recently with a .945 save percentage in his last six games. Merzlikins has stopped 61 of 63 shots during the past two games. 

(I am 8-2 on my last 10 NHL premium/free plays bidding to beat hockey for the fifth year in a row. I have three other NHL plays today in addition to this one. If you’re interested in my sports service, please email me at, or message me via Twitter.)


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