NHL Playoffs Betting Preview and Free Play: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning – Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

by Ayden Fahlstrom | August 17, 2020 |

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets are gearing up for Game 4 of their best-of-seven playoff series on Monday afternoon. The game is set to start at 3:00PM ET inside the Edmonton bubble and be televised on NBCSN.

The Lightning managed to take the 2-1 series lead on Saturday after defeating the Blue Jackets 3-2. It was a score that reminded them of their Game 1 victory, which also ended 3-2. That game, however, lasted an astounding 5 overtimes.

The Blue Jackets look to get back on track as they once again find themselves down one game in the series. They’ll want to play like they were in Game 2, which ended 3-1 in their favor. The goals came from Ryan Murray, Oliver Bjorkstrand (PP), and Alexander Wennberg.

Can the Blue Jackets Tie the Series Up Again?

The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to have to stop playing chase with the Lightning at some point. They bounced back after the Game 1 loss and need that same type of energy in Game 4 if they want to stay in a good position moving forward.

They’ll have to deal with injuries from Cam Atkinson, Nathan Gerbe, and Elvis Merzlikins, all of which are listed as day-to-day and are expected to play on Monday. They’ll need effort from everyone if they want to walk away victorious.

Will the Lightning Take a Commanding 3-1 Series Lead?

The Lightning are going to be looking for a sound defensive matchup on Monday. They managed to hold the Blue Jackets to just 17 shots in Game 3, as well as only allowing 19 hits. That’s compared to 34 shots and 35 hits for Tampa Bay.

If the Lightning can maintain that style of play and keep the pressure up, they’ll have an easy time getting to that 3-1 series lead. They’ll also need some offense from Brayden Point, who scored his fourth goal of the postseason last game.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Lines

Who do you think walks away victorious in Game 4 on Monday? BetOnline has the Tampa Bay Lightning (-153) with the 1.5-goal advantage over the Columbus Blue Jackets (+138). They also have the over/under listed at 5 goals.

What’s Our Pick?

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets have had a close series thus far. It doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon as they’ve each found the back of the net seven times this series. We’ll see who finds the net in Game 4.

After playing enough minutes to form more than two games during Game 1, both of these teams are starting to show fatigue. I don’t think we’ll see a lot of scoring in this one, but I do think the Lightning will pull away for a 3-1 series lead over the Blue Jackets.

Final Score 2-1, Tampa Bay Lightning.

Spooky Express Free Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (-153)

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