David Becker/Associated Press
The Pacific-leading Vegas Golden Knights (42-18-5) will visit the Columbus Blue Jackets (33-28-5) on Tuesday as small road favorites in the second game of a five-game eastern road trip. The Golden Knights are coming off a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday to end a three-game losing streak and improve to 18-11-3 away from home this season.
NHL betting line: The Golden Knights opened as -115 favorites (wager $115 to win $100 the total is at six goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
NHL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 2.9-2.8, Blue Jackets (NHL picks on every game).
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Why the Golden Knights can pay on the NHL lines
Vegas went through a little slump prior to starting this trip, losing their last two at home, where the team had gone 24-5-2 before that. You can make the argument that the Golden Knights have played better on the road lately, going 6-3 in their last nine and bonding together under less pressure than in front of the home fans at T-Mobile Arena.
The Golden Knights also made some moves before the trade deadline and have had to alter their lines with key players such as James Neal and Nate Schmidt out. Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant finally found the right combination at New Jersey, and it resulted in a victory.
Why the Blue Jackets can pay on the NHL lines
The Blue Jackets lost the first meeting with the Golden Knights 6-3 on January 23, with former player William Karlsson burning them for two goals. While Columbus may have made a mistake in letting Karlsson go in the NHL Expansion Draft, the team will be eager to exact some revenge on his new squad and continue its own push toward the playoffs.
The Blue Jackets sit in the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, only one point ahead of the Florida Panthers, who have played three fewer games. Coming off a three-game road trip that saw them go 1-2, they have been much better at home (19-11-2) than away from Nationwide Arena (14-17-3).
Smart betting pick
Much like nearly a week ago when Vegas visited the Los Angeles Kings, the home team is in much bigger need of a win. The Kings ended up beating the Golden Knights twice in two days to put themselves in position for a spot in the postseason.
Columbus has gone 7-2 in its last nine games as a home underdog on the Vegas odds, so look for the host to do it again with another big win in this key spot.
NHL betting trends
Vegas is 6-3 in its last nine games on the road.
The total has gone over in seven of Vegas’ last 10 games on the road.
The total has gone over in four of Columbus’ last five games.
All NHL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.