NHL Picks: Maple Leafs vs. Canucks

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, November 2, 2013 3:56 PM GMT

The Vancouver Canucks host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday with the opening faceoff scheduled for 7:05 PM ET. Let's review the available betting lines for our sports picks.

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Saturday 11/2/2013

Toronto Maple Leafs (10-4) @ Vancouver Canucks (9-6) 7:05PM ET

This is a rare early home start for the Canucks who are doing so to accommodate the large Hockey Night in Canada audience on CBC. According to NHL betting odds the Canucks are a -150 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. Vancouver has defeated Toronto in 10 of their last 11 meetings including the last 5 played at home. These two clubs have seen 12 of their last 15 meetings in Vancouver go over the total.

Canucks did some 'Spring Cleaning'~

Red-Hot Leafs

Toronto enters tonight having won 3 in a row and 4 of the last 5. This will be the final games of a 3-games western Canadian road trip. The Leafs won the first 2-games of the trip blanking Edmonton 4-0 on Tuesday, and then the following night defeating Calgary 4-2. The Leafs have received outstanding goaltending during their current 3-game win streak. The combination of James reamer and Jonathan Bernier has stopped 121 of 124 shots on goal for a magnificent .976 save percentage. Both goaltenders have had to be sharp so far this season considering the Leafs are allowing an average of 36.1 shots on goal per game which is the 2nd most in the NHL. The offensive production has been rock solid averaging 3.4 goals per contest which ranks 4th in the league. Special teams play has been exactly that very special! The Leafs have the 2nd best power play in the NHL converting on 25.5% of their chances, and their penalty killing isn’t far behind at 3rd in the league killing off 86.8% of their short-handed situations.

Check out my Picks on the Penguins & Blue Jackets~

Maple Leafs Recent Trends

  • The Maple Leafs are 9-2 in their last 11-games on Saturday.
  • The Maple Leafs are 6-1 in their last 7-games versus western Conference opponents.
  • The Maple Leafs have gone over the total in 13 of their last 19-games after allowing 2-goals or less in their previous game.
  • The Maple Leafs have gone under the total in 4 of their last 5-games versus an opponent with a winning record.

Don’t Sleep on the Canucks

The Canucks enter tonight having won 4 of their last 5-games. They had their 4-game win streak snapped on Wednesday night in a 2-1 home loss at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. The Canucks have seen all of their last 5-games decided by 1-goal with 3 of those going to overtime. The one huge concern thus far for Vancouver has been their lack of production on the power play, especially considering the offensively skilled players that they can put out on the ice. Currently they’re 29th in the NHL converting on just 9.3% of their man advantage situations. Conversely their penalty killing has been terrific in killing off 86.3% of opponent’s power play chances which is good for 4th best in the NHL. Henrik Sedin is off to a terrific start to the season with 3-goals and 15-assists good for 18-points in the first 15-games of the season.

Canucks Recent Trends

  • The Canucks are 17-8 in their last 25-games versus Eastern Conference opponents.
  • The Canucks are 1-10 in their last 11-games versus an opponent that allowed 2-goals or less in their previous game.
  • The Canucks have gone over the total in just 4 of their last 21 home games.
  • The Canucks have gone over the total in 2 of their last 12-games versus an Eastern Conference opponent.
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Final Analysis

This one is a very tough call. I’m going to rely on one of my NHL super angles to carry me into the winner’s circle for my NHL picks in this one.

Any team that’s allowed 2 goals or less in each of their last 4-games, versus an opponent that comes off 2 wins in a row by 2-goals or more in each contest has seen 27 of those 34-games (79.4%) go under the total since the start of the 2009-2010 year.

Free Pick: Toronto/Vancouver to go under the total of 5.5