Jackets, Leafs to Get Offenses Going in Monday's Lone NHL Game

Dana Lane

Monday, January 8, 2018 8:56 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 8:56 PM UTC

The Maple Leafs will try to avenge an earlier loss to the Blue Jackets, who are seeking stability as we make our NHL picks for Monday night.

Monday NHL: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs

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Free NHL Pick: Over 5.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

Our play of the day wasn’t the cleanest of wins Sunday but the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to cash another ticket for my readers. Evgeni Malkin scored twice, including the overtime winner, allowing the Pens to rally from a 5-3 deficit to pad our bankroll a little more. Pittsburgh outshot Boston 18-6 over the final 3-plus periods. Another day, another win.

Home favorites continue to dominate moneyline wagers with a record of 306-150-49 (60.59 percent). Remember, that looks like a great number but don’t jump on games that feature lines of -150 or more. Two losses at -150 would require you to win four games just to make a profit (66.67 percent). Say you placed a wager on two games -120, that would require you to win just three games to overcome the defeats (60 percent).

Home underdogs receiving +1.5 are winning at an incredible 69.29 percent rate, but don't blindly take these games because they’re even worse than the moneyline games. Most will require you to put down -200 and more just to get that +1.5. Sorry, two of those losses would require a bettor to hit better than 71 percent to recoup their money.

Overs are still getting the majority of wins but by a slim margin, 318-313 (50.40 percent).

OK, so now it's off to Toronto. The NHL odds board is light for Monday night as this is the league's only game being played.

There isn’t a long trend to support this but there is a small amount of history that would suggest an over tonight. Of the teams' last five meetings, four have gone over the number. I have some hesitation because we remember in game one that Curtis McElhinney started in goal for the Leafs, Joonas Korpisalo started for the Jackets. The Jackets won 4-2 but you have to take into account that Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky and Toronto's Frederik Andersen will be the likely starters tonight. Both netminders look as if they’re back on top of their game; Bobrovsky has stopped 93 of the last 98 shots faced and Andersen has won five of his last six starts.

Yes, the starters likely will be different, but the pace of play won’t be. In their first meeting there wasn’t a period that didn’t have a minimum of 23 shots, and the second period featuring a wide-open style with 32 shots. The fast-paced game ended with 78 shots taken, and I think the pace will be no different Monday night. For our NHL picks, count on the game easily going over the total.

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