Blue Jackets Odds -225 with 2-1 Series Lead on Maple Leafs

Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones

The Columbus Blue Jackets are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Photo from @BlueJacketsNHL (Twitter)

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets lead the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in their play-in series
  • Game 4 will be played at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois recorded the first playoff Hat Trick in franchise history and is one of two key reasons to consider betting on the Blue Jackets

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before – the Toronto Maple Leafs blew a three-goal lead in a playoff game. With the 4-3 overtime victory in Game 3, the Columbus Blue Jackets are now one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Updated Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs Series Odds

Team Current Odds at DraftKings Odds after Game 2
Columbus Blue Jackets -225 +165
Toronto Maple Leafs +180 -200

Odds taken August 7th.

The Blue Jackets weren’t really taken seriously after Game 1 and, as you can see in the table above, they were almost written off after an underwhelming Game 2.

Now, Columbus is in the driver’s seat and I happen to think they’ll be able to finish off the Maple Leafs for two key reasons.

Pierre-Luc Dubois Emerged in Game 3

Pierre-Luc Dubois was the Blue Jackets’ leading scorer in the regular season finishing with 49 points. In Game 2, he got into a shouting match with head coach John Tortorella and it certainly seemed to light a fire under him. He tallied a hat trick in Game 3, which included the overtime winner, helping Columbus to the 2-1 series lead.

Dubois may not have the flash of some of Toronto’s young stars but the reality is he stepped up on the big stage when it mattered most. That needs to be accounted for going forward in this series.

Dubois has been an unheralded star since draft night when, believe it or not, Columbus was criticized for selecting him over Jesse Puljujarvi. Yes, the Jesse Puljujarvi who just re-signed with a team in the Finnish league.

Expect Dubois to build on his Game 3 performance and help the Blue Jackets close the series.

Jake Muzzin Injury Big Problem for Toronto

Jake Muzzin’s injury could end up being the turning point in the series. The teams were all square, closing in on a best-of-three with the winner advancing to the playoffs. The injury to the Maple Leafs best defensive defenseman left them with a hole they aren’t able to fill.

Tonight’s game is a perfect example, even a three-goal cushion wasn’t enough room for a defense core that includes fringe NHL bodies in Martin Marincin, Cody Ceci, and Justin Holl.

Frederik Andersen didn’t have his best night but the four unanswered goals weren’t his fault. They were a result of sustained pressure on a defensive unit not built to withstand long stretches in their own end. Will Andersen be able to bail them out? He certainly has a high talent level, but it seems like it’s too much to ask with the lack of help in front of him.

Consider Betting the Blue Jackets at -225

Forget the Blue Jackets standing in the Stanley Cup Odds for a moment and consider this – the Maple Leafs have never won a playoff series in the Auston Matthews era. Toronto’s offense is unquestionably talented but they have been for four years now.

After losses to Washington and Boston (twice), should we really be surprised a unit with similar components doesn’t appear capable of winning?

I don’t blame the offense, but they’ve never been able to outscore the problems on the back end. I would bet on that trend continuing, with Columbus riding Toronto’s woes to a spot in the playoffs.

PICK: Columbus Blue Jackets (-225)

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Ryan Bolta

NFL NHL NCAAF Sports Writer