We are now beyond the midway point of the season, which is why we can now have enough evidence in place to start talking about Stanley Cup contenders. That said, it is worth remembering that the team that wins the President’s Trophy for the best overall record in the NHL is rarely the one that goes on to win the Stanley Cup. We should also note that with so many games still waiting to be played, the teams that are at the top of the standings now may not necessarily be the ones that are there once each team has played their 82-game schedule.
The lone exception to the rule here may well be the Tampa Bay Lightning, as they are already 9 points better off than the second-best team in the league right now, the Calgary Flames. The Lightning is running away with the Atlantic Division and they can create an even bigger lead if they can take out the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night. The Lightning is a 1 ½ goal favorite for this one, with the goal total set at 6 ½.
Maple Leafs vs Lightning NHL Week 16 Odds & Game Info
“I think we can play at another level, I think we can play harder, I think we can work harder so that’s what we want from our group.”Mike Babcock on improving as the Leafs head to Tampa. #LeafsForever Watch >> https://t.co/ros72zFo1B pic.twitter.com/Qz4AkUn5C1 — Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) 16 de enero de 2019
- When: Thursday, January 17 at 7:30 PM EST
- Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay
- TV: ESPN+
- Radio: TuneIn
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Week 16 Odds: Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (Total 6.5)
Why bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs?
After a blistering start to the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have fallen off a little, but they have still managed to maintain the #2 spot in the Atlantic Division. That said, they are just 5-5 in their last 10 games and are seeing the chasing pack beginning to close the gap.
They are just 1 point up on the Bruins in 3rd place in the division, but perhaps more importantly, they are just 2 points up on the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team currently sitting in the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. As you can clearly tell, a poor run of form now could send the Leafs down a little too close to the playoff line. The good news for the Leafs ahead of this one is that they have been great on the road, going 15-5-1, but they also only have 1 win in their last 6 meetings with the Lightning.
- Goals: 3.58
- Shots: 31.58
- PP/PK Percentage: 22.22
- Goals: 2.84
- Shots: 32.33
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.13
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning?
It is going to take a serious slip in form or a dramatic run form some other team for the Lightning to give up the top spot in the NHL. It’s altogether too early to crown them as champions of the Atlantic Division, but with 74 points already in the bag, they have a 16-point lead over the Leafs in second.
Again, the Lightning would really need to go into the tank in the second half of the season to let that lead slip. There is nothing to suggest that will happen, though, as this team has been ridiculously consistent from Day 1 of the season. They have been great everywhere, but they have been close to unstoppable on home ice, posting a 19-4 record there.
- Goals: 4.06
- Shots: 32.83
- PP/PK Percentage: 29.30
- Goals: 2.83
- Shots: 32.28
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.34
Maple Leafs vs Lightning NHL Week 16 Betting Trends
- Toronto is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
- Toronto is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toronto’s last 6 games on the road
- Tampa Bay is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Toronto
- Tampa Bay is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Toronto
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for Maple Leafs vs Lightning
The Lightning’s home record speaks for itself, as does their current form, where they have won 8 of their last 10 games. They have won 3 in a row at home versus the Leafs and should make it #5 here.
Score: Toronto Maple Leafs 2 – Tampa Bay Lightning 4