Getting off to a fast start in the NHL is no guarantee of future success, as the 82-game schedule in that league is perhaps the most brutal of any professional sport. Every team experiences down periods through the course of a season, and while that fast start may not be a sign of upcoming success, getting those points in the bag early on can keep teams in the playoff hunt no matter what the NHL betting odds may say.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets, who hook up on Wednesday night, both came flying out the gate, but are both now struggling a little. These are two very talented teams, though, and it’s fair to suggest that these current struggles will merely be temporary. Both teams are still in good shape in their respective divisions, and both know that a win in this one could help get back on track.
This may be a little tougher for Toronto, as it will be the second of games on consecutive nights. This is definitely one worth watching and including on your pro-hockey betting ticket, as both teams have some real firepower in their line-up.
Toronto at Columbus Analysis & NHL Betting Pick
“We’ve been in every game we’ve played here in the last three – we haven’t found a way to win.” – Mike Babcock@Proteautype checks in from practice as the @MapleLeafs prepare for the Next Century Game.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) 18 de diciembre de 2017
- When: Wednesday, December 20 at 7:30 PM EST
- Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
- TV: FSOH and TSN
- Radio: 1050 AM (Toronto) / 97.1 FM (Columbus)
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Betting Odds: TBA
- All: Toronto Maple Leafs 20-13-1 / Columbus Blue Jackets 20-13-1
- Home: Toronto Maple Leafs 10-5 / Columbus Blue Jackets 12-6
- Away: Toronto Maple Leafs 10-8-1 / Columbus Blue Jackets 8-7-1
- As Favorite: Toronto Maple Leafs 14-7-1 / Columbus Blue Jackets 18-10
- As Underdog: Toronto Maple Leafs 6-6 / Columbus Blue Jackets 2-3-1
- ATS: Toronto Maple Leafs 14-20 / Columbus Blue Jackets 15-19
- Over/Under: Toronto Maple Leafs 15-15-4 / Columbus Blue Jackets 16-18
Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)
- Record: Columbus Blue Jackets lead 6-4
- Score: Toronto Maple Leafs 2.70 / Columbus Blue Jackets 3.10
- Shots: Toronto Maple Leafs 32.30 / Columbus Blue Jackets 29.70
- Power Play Goals: Toronto Maple Leafs 4 / Columbus Blue Jackets 6
- Number of Power Plays: Toronto Maple Leafs 27 / Columbus Blue Jackets 24
- Power Play Percentage: Toronto Maple Leafs 14.81 / Columbus Blue Jackets 25.00
- Penalty Kill Percentage: Toronto Maple Leafs 75.00 / Columbus Blue Jackets 85.19
Why bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs?
The Maple Leafs current situation probably looks worse than it really is because of how well the Tampa Bay Lightning are playing right now. Tampa has surged to the top of the Atlantic Division, 9 points up on Toronto after winning 7 in a row and 8 of their last 10. During this same period, the Maple Leafs have been playing .500 hockey, and are currently on a 3-game losing skid. This is still a team that is in the top 10 in scoring, averaging over 3 GPG, which is why their recent scoring woes have come as such a surprise.
The Leafs have played 7 games in December, and have only managed 10 goals during that stretch. This run is all the more disappointing when you consider how good they have been defensive during this run, giving up 15 goals in 7 games. The Leafs have been good on the road, going 10-8-1 in away games this season.
- Goals: 3.21
- Shots: 30.06
- PP/PK Percentage: 20.41
- Goals: 2.85
- Shots: 34.00
- PP/PK Percentage: 18.10
Why bet on the Columbus Blue Jackets?
The Blue Jackets are another team that has hit a bit of a wall after getting off to a fast start, but they are still just 2 points off the pace at the top of the Metropolitan Division, sitting on 41 points, the same as the Leafs. While these two teams may have the same points, how they have got to this point is totally different. The Blue Jackets are way down the list in scoring, with part of their offensive issues being an inability to score on the power play.
They are second worst in the league with the man advantage, but given that they are top 10 in defense, they have still been able to win more than their fair share of games. The Blue Jackets have lost back to back games, and are 5-5 in their last 10. Home is where the heart is for this team, as they are 12-6-0 on home ice this season.
- Goals: 2.85
- Shots: 34.24
- PP/PK Percentage: 10.10
- Goals: 2.74
- Shots: 30.56
- PP/PK Percentage: 17.58
Latest NHL Betting Trends
- Maple Leafs are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games
- Maple Leafs are 6-2 SU in their last 8 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto’s last 7 games
- Blue Jackets are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games
- Blue Jackets are 11-5 SU in their last 16 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Columbus’s last 18 games
Expert NHL Betting Pick & Score Prediction
The Blue Jackets have won 4 of their last 5 games against Toronto, and I think they will get the win in this one on home ice. It doesn’t help that Toronto is coming in having also played the night before.
Score: Toronto Maple Leafs 2 – Columbus Blue Jackets 3