NHL Picks: Maple Leafs +165 vs. Lightning

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 1:31 PM GMT

Tampa Bay and Toronto get together in an Atlantic Division showdown on Tuesday. Our resident NHL sports pick expert analyzes the contest, and then gives out his NHL free pick at the conclusion of the article.

Tale of the Tape
The Lightning will host the Maple Leafs on Tuesday at the Tampa Bay Time Forum with the opening face-off slated for 7:35 PM ET. According to NHL betting odds Tampa Bay is a -185 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. Toronto has defeated Tampa Bay in 7 of their last 10 meetings. Toronto is currently 5th in the Atlantic Division, and tied for 9th overall in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay is 3rd in the Atlantic and 4th overall in the East.

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Leafs Off a Crushing Loss
The Maple Leafs playoff chances took a severe hit on Saturday in a 4-2 home loss at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. The loss was disturbing on a few notes. It came against a Winnipeg team that had already been eliminated from playoff contention, they were outshot 41-25, and it was the final home game of the season which should’ve prompted a much stronger effort. Toronto trails the Columbus Blue Jackets by 3-points for the 8th and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Toronto will conclude the regular season by playing their final 3-games on the road starting with tonight. The good news is their final two opponents will be Florida and Ottawa, with both of those clubs having been eliminated from playoff contention. However, the Leafs are just 2-9 in their last 11-games. Toronto has gone over the total in 5 of their last 6, and 7 of the last 9-games.

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Lightning Needs to Strike
The Tampa Bay Lightning need to garner back some momentum they they’ve recently relinquished with some very unsteady play. This will be the 4th of a 6-game in 12-day home stand. Thus far the home stand hasn’t been impressive as they gone 1-2, including losing each of their previous 2-games. The Lightning is coming off a 5-2 loss on Saturday at the hands of the Dallas Stars. They trail Montreal by just 4-points, and have 1-game in hand on the Canadians. Tampa has gone over the total in 13 of their previous 19-games. They’ve also gone over the total in 6 of their last 7-games after scoring 2-goals or less in their previous game.


NHL Betting System
Any money line road underdog of +180 or less that’s coming off a loss by 2-goals or more, versus an opponent that allowed 5-goals or more in their previous game, has gone 72-55 (56.7%) during the last 5-seasons.

Free Pick: Toronto +165 over Tampa Bay

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