NHL Picks: Devils vs. Maple Leafs

David Lawrence

Monday, March 4, 2013 2:35 PM GMT

The Toronto Maple Leafs play host to the short handed New Jersey Devils this evening, and injuries could play a huge part in where we decide to place our NHL picks tonight.


The New Jersey Devils are sorely missing goaltender Martin Brodeur. While the 40-year-old is eligible to come off the injury list on Monday, he’s not expected to be back in the lineup. The Devils have been struggling mightily without him and will be looking to avoid their longest losing streak in three years when they visit Toronto on Monday.

Will they get it done, and where should us bettors look for the best value for our NHL picks?

[gameodds]7/220058/43/us[/gameodds]

Record: 66-78 (-938)

The New Jersey Devils can win because…

Toronto’s not a great home team. They’ve only won four of nine at home and have been a pretty costly bet if you’ve been backing them on the NHL odds at the Air Canada Centre.

The Devils are surely in a slump but the Maple Leafs aren’t exactly coming into this game red hot. The Leafs have alternated wins and losses for seven straight games and are coming off a win.

The Toronto Maple Leafs can win because…

The Devils have been a mess without Brodeur. While the Hall of Famer has gone 5-1-1 with a 1.84 GAA in his last seven starts, his fill-in, Johan Hedberg, has gone winless in his last five while posting a GAA of 3.78.

Toronto has been a little inconsistent of late but their offense has been clicking recently as they’ve averaged three goals per game over their last eight. Youngsters Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk are on fire right now and if the team can get Phil Kessel going, they’ll be in great shape.

Outlook & Pick

Some NHL bettors will probably side with Toronto in this spot and that’s understandable. New Jersey has lost four straight to teams like Buffalo, Winnipeg and Washington. They’ve also lost six of seven overall.

Also, when you consider that the Maple Leafs offense is playing reasonable these days as they’ve scored at least two goals in each of their last eight games, I’ll take the over too. With Hedberg being a train wreck, this game should see at least five goals.

Free NHL Pick: Maple Leafs -118 & Over 5 at Pinnacle

Also read my NHL Picks of the Day article for more free betting plays.