Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Free Pick

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A game between two teams that are squarely in playoff contention, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Toronto Maple Leafs collide at Air Canada Centre in an Eastern Conference tilt. The action gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, January 8 and it can be watched live on TVA Sports.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs Odds

Earning moneyline bettors 2.5 units, Toronto is 25-18 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the NHL in this young season, is a welcome improvement over the 40-42 record from last years regular season campaign. Of the teams 43 games this season, 21 have gone over the total, while 19 have gone under and just three have pushed. The team is 13-6 SU at home this year.

The Maple Leafs have converted on 21.0 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated ninth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 83.3 percent of all penalties.

The Maple Leafs, as a collective unit, have been penalized 3.8 times per game overall this season, and 4.6 per game over their last five at home. The team has had to defend opposition power plays for 10.8 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Averaging 31.5 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (22 wins, 13 losses, and one OT loss) has been the top option in goal for Toronto this season. If the Leafs, however, decide to give him a rest, head coach Mike Babcock could go with Curtis McElhinney (3-4-4 record, .916 save percentage, 2.78 goals against average).

Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly will both spearhead the attack for the Maple Leafs. Matthews (33 points) has tallied 19 goals and 14 assists and has recorded multiple points on 10 separate occasions this year. Rielly has four goals and 26 assists to his credit and has recorded a point in 24 contests.

Columbus is 24-19 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.2 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. A total of 22 of its outings have gone under the total, while 19 have gone over and just one has pushed. As the road team, the Blue Jackets are 9-12 SU so far.

The Blue Jackets have converted on just 12.5 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 22nd overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.2 percent of all penalties.

Columbus skaters have been penalized only 3.1 times per game this season, and 3.9 per game over their past ten match ups. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 5.6 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Sergei Bobrovsky (2.41 goals against average and .921 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Columbus. Bobrovsky is averaging 28.3 saves per game and owns a 20-15-3 record.

Artemi Panarin (10 goals, 25 assists) has been one of the top facilitators on offense for the visiting Blue Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Six of Toronto’s last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals. The team is 2-4 overall in those games.
  • The Blue Jackets are 11-9 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 20-13 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • Two of Toronto’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 2-0 in those games and 4-1 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The under has hit in three of Toronto’s last five outings.
  • Toronto is ranked 26th this season with 11.4 giveaways per game. That figure has improved recently, however, as the teams averaged 8.9 giveaways over its last 10 games and 8.8 giveaways over its last five.
  • Columbus has averaged 5.0 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 6.0 giveaways per game (the second-fewest in the NHL).