NHL Picks: Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes

David Lawrence

Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:24 PM GMT

The Hurricanes have already topped Toronto once this season and they’re favored in the NHL odds to do it once more when they play host on Thursday. So should we back them with our NHL picks?

NHL Betting – Maple Leafs vs Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have been on quite the run. When they wake up on Thursday, they’ll find themselves atop the Southeast Division and also in third place in the Eastern Conference

Record: 36-45 (-876)

The Toronto Maple Leafs can win because…

They’ve played great on the road this season. Quite impressively, the Leafs are 6-1-0 as the visitor this season and that’s remarkably better than their 2-4-0 record at home. Similarly, the Hurricanes are better on the road (5-2-1) than at home (2-2-0).

The best reason to be the Leafs in this spot is the Hurricanes are returning home after a long road trip. They are fresh off a six-game road trip and Thursday will actually be their third game in four nights after playing both Monday and Tuesday. Look for them to be a bit flat-footed and the Leafs to take advantage.

The Carolina Hurricanes can win because…

The Leafs will be without a couple of key contributors. Just as it looked like goaltender James Reimer was developing some momentum once more – he’s won three straight starts while allowing just three goals in the process – he’s now sidelined for at least a week. That will put Ben Scrivens in net, which is a downgrade.

The Leafs will also be without Matt Frattin, who is having a procedure done on his MCL. While he might not seem like a big name, he’s actually scored seven goals this season, which makes him the Leafs second-leading scorer.

The Hurricanes have plenty of momentum as they’ve won four of their last five. They should be able to take care of a shorthanded Leafs squad on Thursday.

Stay on top of the hockey betting odds movements here~

[gameodds]7/218426/43/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick

The Leafs offer good value in this spot – even without Reimer. The Hurricanes could be a bit gassed after their long road trip and the Leafs are a confident bunch after winning four straight. Take the road dog on Thursday for your NHL Picks.

NHL Picks: Leafs +135 at Pinnacle Sports