Free NHL Picks For Tonight (Dec 16): Blue Jackets vs Hurricanes Prediction
December 16 will offer eleven games. Another busy weekend of NHL games kicks off with Saturday. I expect plenty of exciting action on Saturday night. Here are my best bets for December 16. If you have thought about buying sports betting picks you should read our Pay For Picks article and take advantage of our free NHL consensus betting picks for tonight. Odds for our NHL picks can be found at BetOnline.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Carolina Hurricanes Prediction
Columbus and Carolina have faced off three times before Saturday night. Carolina is 12-11-7 on the season. Columbus has gone 20-11-1. Both teams are in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets are tied for first, while the Hurricanes are eighth in the division.
In the season series, the Blue Jackets have gone 2-1. Both Blue Jackets victories came in overtime or a shootout. Both teams have scored six goals on each other this season. The rivalry games have been close, but the Blue Jackets are the better team on the season.
Sonny Milano leads the Blue Jackets in points in games against the Hurricanes. Milano has three points in three games. Zack Werenski has two points for Columbus. Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen, Noah Hanifin, Brock McGinn and Derek Ryan all have gotten two points against the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky will likely get the nod in net for the Blue Jackets.
Bobrovsky has been a rock in net all season long. He has posted a .923 save percentage and a GAA of 2.28. I expect Bobrovsky to play another great game in Carolina on Saturday night. The Hurricanes are played a game in Buffalo on Friday night. Cam Ward got the start, so Scott Darling is likely to play against the Blue Jackets. Darling has struggled as the starter in Carolina this season. He has a .899 save percentage and a GAA of 2.72. Darling will need to step his game up if he wants to outplay Bobrovsky.
Artemi Panarin has been the point leader for the Blue Jackets this season. Panarin has seven goals and twenty-one assists. Second on the team in points is Oliver Bjorkstrand. Bjorkstrand has twenty-one points. Josh Anderson leads the team in goals with twelve. Zach Werenski is second with ten goals.
Columbus Blue Jackets (-106) at Carolina Hurricanes (-104)*
Teuvo Teravainen is the leader in points for Carolina. Teravainen has twenty-four points, eight of those are goals. Jeff Skinner leads the team in goals with eleven, and he is tied for second in points. Skinner and Sebastian Aho each have twenty-one points. Justin Williams, who came over from Washington in the offseason, has twenty points.
The Blue Jackets are only slight favorites in this matchup. Columbus is expected to win this game only fifty-one percent of the time. Carolina has struggled this season and they are playing this game on the second night of a back to back. I believe the Blue Jackets should be much bigger favorites in this game. Columbus has a clear advantage in goaltending and a solid advantage on offense. This combination could create serious issues for the Hurricanes. I like Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets on the road.
*This sports pick was written before Carolina and Buffalo played on Friday night