NHL Picks Bet Maple Leafs vs. Avalanche to go Over

David Lawrence

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 2:08 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 2:08 PM GMT

Two of the NHL’s hottest teams meet up on Tuesday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Colorado Avalanche. The Maple Leafs have won five straight while the Avs are 8-1-1 in their last 10.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Can Win Because….

They’ve won five in a row and are rolling right now. The difference for the Leafs has been their offense as they’ve now scored at least three goals in five straight games. In total, they’ve scored 20 goals during their five-game winning streak and they’re going to be tough to stop if they keep that up.

Phil Kessel is on absolute fire right now as the Leafs star forward has 12 points in his last six games. He’s playing like an MVP candidate and if he leads the way on Wednesday, the Leafs should get at least three or four goals once again and have a very good shot to win. Their streaking offense is the main reason why you should add the Leafs to your NHL picks.

The Colorado Avalanche Can Win Because….

The Avs have gotten back to their roots: good goaltending and efficient offense. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov had a stellar October (7-1-0, 1.76 GAA) but then had a couple months off (10-7-4). He’s picked up the pace in January and so far has a 7-0-1 record with a .931 save percentage and a 2.20 GAA. If he’s going to play like that, the Avs are going to be a playoff team and a problem for whoever faces them in the first round. Varlamov is the difference in this game as the Leafs aren’t playing much defense this month. They’re allowing a whopping 3.78 goals per game over their last nine and the Avs will pick that apart.

Outlook & Pick

Laying -175 on the NHL odds with Colorado is a bit crazy here. Yes, they are playing well but so is Toronto. What makes me hesitate with the Leafs is that this is a back-to-back situation for them after playing in Phoenix last night and also their third game in four nights. That being the case, I’ll stay away from the sides and take the over.

The defensive units and goaltenders on both sides have not been as strong in January as they were in the early stages of the season. That being the case, I’ll add the over to my NHL picks.

Pick: Over 5.5 at Bovada

[gameodds]7/253287/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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