NHL picks: Can the Maple Leafs Cool off the Red-Hot New Jersey Devils?

NHL picks: Can the Maple Leafs Cool off the Red-Hot New Jersey Devils?
© USA Today

The NHL week steams forward with 13 games on Thursday night. 

Let’s get on with some of what went wrong and a little right last night. 

What Went Wrong And Right

Edmonton allowed three goals. The problem was they scored just once. Ottawa, however, got past the three-goal mark en route to their 4-1 victory. Edmonton is almost becoming a team to stay away from. 

Thankfully, specific teams tonight are a little more predictable. That is the hope, anyway.

Let’s get moving on. This will be brief!

Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning

The Flames (7-6-2) and Lightning (9-6-1) face off on Thursday. This could feature some offense. These two teams are inconsistent, a little more rugged, and aggressive. Tampa possesses some snarl. 

Calgary needs to start stringing weeks together where they win two of three or even three of four. That 0-4-1 winless streak set them back a good way. Yes, these downturns happen, but they hurt immensely betting-wise. A hesitation persists with this team, and it does not help with the Flames playing on the road tonight.

On the bright side, Jonathan Huberdeau returned to the lineup and promptly scored this week. Maybe it was an injury that truly was bothering him. The hope is that the trend continues as the winger shoots the puck on goal more. Between him and Nazem Kadri, the Flames need to start scoring more.

Bettors should take a small-unit risk here on that Under at 6.5 goals. The Under stands at 1.97. If it goes to 2.00, just look somewhere else! 

New Jersey Devils at Toronto Maple Leafs

New Jersey has won 10 straight games and sits atop the Metropolitan Division. Their 13-3 record is unexpected.

Toronto has started to heat up some, too. They are 5-1-2 over their last eight games. It was like the calendar just had to turn to November. John Tavares and Auston Matthews must have this month circled on their calendar because the last few Novembers have been quite good to them. 

The Devils have hit some ridiculous heights. They arguably scored six times against Montreal. All kidding aside, their offence and acceleration can scare teams. Montreal kept up for about 20 minutes, and then New Jersey revved their engines and fired. Toronto is one of the few teams from top to bottom that can probably keep and even exceed Jersey’s pace. 

No one should be surprised that Toronto is favoured tonight. The Maple Leafs have won eight straight games against New Jersey, scoring three or more goals every time. Tonight probably will not be much different. Goals are very likely here. Also, New Jersey has not seen overtime. The chances a game ends in regulation are pretty good.

Toronto, in regulation, is up to 1.92. The Over is teetering at 6.5 and around 1.75. Instead, if one wants to take a small-unit risk, look at the 2.61 Puckline. 

Anaheim Ducks at Winnipeg Jets

Anaheim loves losing games by two or more goals. Nine of their 10 regulation losses have been by that margin. Six of those were on the road. After a decent homestand, they head back out on the road into Manitoba's snowy cold. OK, Winnipeg is where the Ducks are playing tonight.

No one is surprised if this game stays at 6.0 goals for the Over. Some bettors and pundits joked that this might not budge at all. Looking at that early number for the Under around 2.00 indicates it may be less likely. If anything, the first road game in a while hurts Anaheim and Winnipeg puts up enough goals to keep the Under a viable play.

Winnipeg, on the Puckline, is a somewhat better pick tonight at 2.27. 

Some Random Wagers For Canadian Sports Bettors Tonight

Here are some early ideas:

  • Watch for line movements tonight, especially in Columbus for the Montreal game
  • Winnipeg Puckline at 2.27
  • Toronto in regulation at 1.92 - that may not hold. Look at the puckline, too.
  • Calgary scoring first at 2.25
  • Jacob Markstrom save prop - lean on the over.

Good luck. There may be a few more plays via social media later (and live bets) today. Look out for John Ryan’s hockey pick of the day, also. Thanks for reading!

Numbers are via Sports Interaction and BetMGM.

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