Can the Maple Leafs cash in as a money line home underdog tonight versus the Penguins? Read what our resident NHL handicapping guru has to say in his betting preview article which culminates with a free pick.
Penguins travel North of the Border
The Maple Leafs will play host to the Penguins on Friday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto with a scheduled start time of 7:35 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Bookmaker, the Penguins are a -140 money line favorite, and the posted total is 6.0. These teams already met once this season, and the Penguins skated away with a 5-2 win in Toronto on October 11th. The Penguins won 2 of their 3-games against the Maple Leafs last season.
Dose of Reality
The Pittsburgh Penguins entered Tuesday night’s road game versus the Rangers at Madison Square Garden as the hottest team in the NHL. They had won 7-games in a row, and outscored the opposition by a wide margin of 33-8 in doing so. They proceeded to endure a humbling 5-0 loss at the hands of the Rangers. It was a bitter pill to swallow considering the loss came versus the very same team that eliminated them from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tonight will be the last of 5 consecutive away games for Pittsburgh. The Penguins have gone a stellar 5-2 on the road so far this season. Despite suffering a shutout loss the last time they took the ice, the Penguins are still averaging a terrific 3.9 goals per game.
Confidence Building Win
The Toronto Maple Leafs made an emphatic statement in a 5-1 home win on Wednesday versus a Boston Bruins team that entered that game having won 5 in a row. Toronto has now won 3 in a row, and 6 of their last 8-games. They’ve seen each of their previous 4-games go over the total, and they played a big part in those high scoring affairs by scoring 19-goals combined during that time. Toronto’s power play has been on fire over the last 5-games, converting on 7-for-16 (43.7%) of their man advantage opportunities.
NHL Money Line Betting System
This situation sets up very nicely for the money line home underdog. My lean for my NHL picks for today clearly goes the way of the Maple Leafs. Any team (Toronto) that scored 6-goals or more in their previous game, versus an opponent coming off a loss by 4-goals or more, has gone 37-11 (77.1%) against the money line during the past 5-seasons.
Free NHL Pick: Toronto +120 over Pittsburgh at The Greek