Andrew Wilson |  Mon 12/02/2018 - 17:49 EST

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay NHL Odds, Prediction

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay NHL Odds, Prediction
Two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference clash on Monday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning make the trip north of the border, where they play the Toronto Maples Leafs at 7:00 PM EST. Both teams are looking to extend their winning streaks and gain ground in the hypercompetitive Atlantic Division. In a game that is basically a pick'em, the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning are a great wager to place on Monday.

Team Overviews

With the top-ranked offence in the National Hockey League, the Tampa Bay Lightning have, for most of the season, sat atop the NHL standings. The Tampa Bay Lightning average 3.60 goals per game, despite ranking 12th in shots on goal.

The Lightning are not just an offensive juggernaut. They are arguably the most well-rounded team in the National Hockey League. They rank sixth in goals allowed at only 2.64 and are even better on the road, sitting fourth in the league allowing 2.57 goals.

After another big offensive performance on Saturday, scoring six goals in their win over the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Maple Leafs return to the top four in the National Hockey League in terms of goals per game, scoring at a clip of 3.30 per contest.

The Leafs now sit at 17-8-2 at home, after winning their last four in Toronto. Their goaltending has picked up lately, allowing two goals or less in six of their last eight goals. They are average on defence at home, giving up 2.74 (which is 16th overall in the NHL).

Game Predictions

Few teams in the National Hockey League give the Toronto Maple Leafs as much trouble as the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning are 7-2-1 against since December 2015. The Lightning have won their last three trips to Toronto, including a 2-0 victory in early January this season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to be the first team in the NHL this season to win 20 games on the road. Their 19-9-2 record leads the NHL, while their 3.47 goals per game in visitors building is also the best mark in the league going into Monday’s game. 

Despite how great Tampa Bay is, the Toronto Maple Leafs are no slouches. The Leafs are just eight points behind Tampa Bay for tops in the league, and with more home games remaining than road games, they could make up some ground over the final two months of the season.

Andrei Vasilevskiy is the top goaltender on the Tampa Bay Lightning (and most likely starting for the Bolts on Monday as the Lightning play again on Tuesday night in Buffalo). Vasilevskiy is one of, if not the best goaltender in the NHL this season. He leads the league with seven shutouts and 33 wins and ranks close to the top in save percentage and GAA.

The Leafs plan to counter with Frederik Andersen. Andersen was a little shaky in the Maple Leafs win on Saturday night. However, as the Leafs scored six goals, they did not need more than .880 save percentage from their netminder. Andersen now has three sub .900 save percentage games in his last four, potentially indicating a small slump.

This game is essentially a pick’em in terms of odds. Toronto (-105) and Tampa Bay Lightning (-115) are nearly even on the line and could swap places over the day if the money goes heavy on one side. As an underdog this season, Tampa Bay is 5-0-1. It is quite crazy to think, the Lightning have played 30 road games (55 total), yet have been the underdog only six times this entire season.

The Lightning at -115 is a great value. As they are rarely underdog, any chance to wager on the top team in the league at those odds is a smart wager to make.

Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (-115) at Sports Interaction

The game total as of publication is set at 6.0. The Maple Leafs have 16 goals in their last three games, while the Lightning have reached the back of the net 22 times in their previous five. Averaging the two teams production gives a total of 9.73 goals.

While both offences are amongst the top in the NHL, these two teams have a tendency to engage in low-scoring affairs. Five of the last six games between these two clubs have gone under. The Lightning’s roster matches up well against the Leafs young, fast and talented forwards. They have proven they can slow them down and keep them off the score sheet.

The last five Lightning games have gone over to push their season over/under total to 34-21. Six of the last eight Maple Leafs game have finished under.

The Leafs are 17-18-5 on game totals set at 6.0 goals. Tampa Bay is 10-10-0 when their game total is 6.0. Since this line is set at 6.0, not 5.5, betting the under and potentially getting a push on a late empty net goal is the smart strategy on Monday night.

Pick: Under 6.0 (-110) at Sports Interaction  

Category : Sports

Tag : hockey , NHL , tampa bay lightning , toronto maple leafs

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