The Columbus Blue Jackets and their fan base entered the 2022-23 NHL season with hope and a ton of enthusiasm. After all, Johnny Gaudreau, the summer's marquee free agent, chose Columbus as his preferred destination.
Between the Gaudreau signing and the Patrik Laine extension, things were looking good for the Blue Jackets.
Despite the big moves, though, Columbus still wasn’t seeing much respect in the Ohio sports betting market, which launched officially on New Year’s Day.
Most national sites had them listed around +7000 to win the Stanley Cup heading into the season. This was fair, as the Jackets had finished the 2022 season under .500 and were sixth in the Metropolitan Division.
Blue Jackets fans in Ohio likely did not take much notice of this as the state had yet to introduce regulated sports betting before the season started.
However, now that Ohio sports betting apps have launched, the state’s bettors have been welcomed with staggering odds on their local NHL team.
For example, with the team off to a poor start, BetMGM Ohio has Columbus listed at a whopping +50000 to win the Stanley Cup.
The Blue Jackets are tied in Ohio NHL betting with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks with those long odds. Only the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks, all at +100000, have longer odds.
What Is Going on This Season?
The Blue Jackets certainly hoped for an improvement on last year's showing with Gaudreau in the mix. The diminutive superstar has been as advertised, putting up an average of more than a point per game.
Every other facet of the Blue Jackets’ season has been a disappointment, though. The Blue Jackets are 11-22-2 (24 points), last in the Eastern Conference by a long shot, and better than only the tanking Blackhawks leaguewide.
Injuries have hurt, with stud defenseman Zach Werenski out for the season and top sniper Laine also missing substantial chunks of time.
Another massive issue has been goaltending, with Elvis Merzlikins, in particular, struggling in a big way. With Gaudreau seemingly maxed out on production and Werenski gone, the newly launched Ohio sportsbooks have little expectation of this team making the playoffs. FanDuel Ohio gives Columbus the longest odds to make the postseason in the East, at +10000.
You can find FanDuel Ohio bonus codes and those of other operators here at BetOhio.com.
With such a young core of players, it would be shocking to see the monumental comeback needed to make the playoffs. The team is fourth to last in both goals for and in goals allowed, not exactly the recipe for winning hockey games.
The focus for the rest of the season will be on developing their young stars like Kent Johnson and Cole Sillinger and trying to figure out if a long-term goaltending solution is in the organization.
Help Could Be on Way Through Draft
Fortunately for Columbus fans and management, it is a great year to have a poor season with the excellent prospects available at the top end of the upcoming NHL Draft.
Connor Bedard is the consensus No. 1 overall pick and unquestionably the best prospect the NHL has seen since Connor McDavid. The lower the Jackets finish in the standings, the better chance they will have to win the draft lottery. That would allow them to draft first overall and select Bedard, who truly has franchise-changing talent.
Even if they aren’t lucky enough to get the top pick, the Jackets still will be able to add a game-breaker as this draft has three other players who would challenge to be first overall picks in a normal year in Adam Fantilli, Matvei Michkov and Leo Carlsson.
It is safe to say that the Blue Jackets won’t be the team drawing the most bets in Ohio. Still, with the young talent already on the roster, hopefully full seasons from Gaudreau, Werenski and Laine and a high draft pick in hand, the Columbus Blue Jackets stand to be a much more profitable team to bet on moving forward.
In the meantime, BetOhio.com is off and running with the best sports betting coverage in the state. It also is a great source for Ohio sportsbook promo codes.
Be sure to check back with BetOhio for all the most lucrative sportsbook bonuses in The Buckeye State, like the Caesars Ohio promo code.