NHL Thursday betting preview: Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs to bounce back
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We were stunned by a third-period outburst in Chicago as we had to settle for a 2-2 showing Wednesday, but that was pushed to 3-2 if you tailed our trend of the night.

If not for a seven-goal third period and a 35-save effort from a former Vezina Trophy winner, we would have swept the board. Such is life.

GOATs and scapegoats

Betting the under in the Colorado Avalanche game last night, our one concern was Pavel Francouz, but he put in the type of performance we needed. He made sure the New York Islanders stayed ice-cold and helped keep the game under the total by making 27 saves on 28 shots.

Sergei Bobrovsky did Francouz one better, making 35 saves on 36 shots for the Florida Panthers. The .972 save percentage was his third-highest single-game mark of the season, ending a rough stretch for the former Vezina winner. And, of course, he did it on a night when we were on the over.

Thursday bets

Toronto Maple Leafs (-115)

This the biggest game of the season thus far for the Maple Leafs. After being embarrassed on Tuesday night, they return home for a rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins, desperately needing to stop the bleeding. The character of each and every one of these players has been called into question over the last couple days. If they have any compete, this is when they need to show it - lose here and there won't be playoff hockey in Toronto come April.

Florida Panthers, 3-way line (+105)

Laying -140 on the Panthers' moneyline is also an option, but I like the discount we get for them to win in regulation. Florida is on a 6-1 run on no rest and has won eight of its last 11 games on the road. The Panthers have also won five straight away games versus Western Conference teams. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Kings are losers of five of their six home games in 2020 and just traded away their top goal-scorer and one of their top defensemen in Tyler Toffoli and Alec Martinez, respectively.

Best bet

Columbus Blue Jackets (-120)

Losers of seven in a row, the Blue Jackets have officially fallen out of a playoff spot, while the surging Philadelphia Flyers have moved into third in the Metropolitan Division. Columbus has been playing really good hockey but has found itself on the wrong side of a number of close games. Returning home will be big for the Blue Jackets, and I fully expect one of the game's best motivators in John Tortorella to get a massive response from his team after Tuesday's 5-1 loss in Philadelphia. The Blue Jackets have won 13 of their last 15 home games against the Flyers and I predict that to continue Thursday.

Trend of the night

The Flyers are on a 10-1 run to the over on the road, while the Blue Jackets are on an 11-1 run to the under on home ice.

Good luck making sense of this total.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

NHL Thursday betting preview: Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs to bounce back
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