NHL Puck-Line Pick: Side with Lightning -1.5 Over Maple Leafs

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, March 5, 2015 12:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015 12:56 PM UTC

Our NHL consultant breaks down Thursday’s game between Toronto & Tampa Bay. Join us in reading his revealing betting preview article which culminates with a free puck-line selection.

Leafs vs. Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning will host The Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday at 7:35 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Pinnacle, Tampa Bay is a -270 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. Bookmaker has Tampa Bay -1.5 (+115) and Toronto +1.5 (-127) on the puck-line. This will be the third meeting of the season between these clubs, and the home team won on each of the first two occasions.


Leafs Road Hex Ends
Toronto is coming off a 3-2 win at Florida in their previous game. That win snapped a futile sixteen game road losing streak. As a matter of fact, Toronto has gone 3-20 against the money line in their last twenty-three away games, and has scored an anemic twenty goals combined in the last seventeen on the road. The Leafs have seen just five of their last twenty-four road games (20.8%) go over the total. They’ve also been held scoreless on seven separate occasions during the last twenty-one when playing on enemy ice.


Dominant Home Ice Advantage
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the better home teams in the NHL this season. They’ve gone an outstanding 24-7 against the money line at the friendly confines of the Times Union Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. The last two home games have resulted in Lightning wins by scores of 4-0 versus Chicago, and 3-0 against Buffalo. Tampa Bay leads the NHL in scoring offense by averaging 3.2 goals per game. The Lightning has scored three goals or more in each of their previous six games.


Final Analysis
There’s really no reason to overanalyze this game from a handicapping perspective. Toronto can’t put the puck in the ocean on the road, and that’s nothing new since it’s gone on for an elongated period of time. The Lightning has shutout each of their previous two opponents on home ice, and is the top scoring team in the NHL. I like this one to be an absolute blowout, and my NHL picks on Thursday will indicate just that.

Free NHL Pick: Play on Tampa Bay -1.5 (+115) over Toronto on the puck-line at Bookmaker.

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