New York Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Free Pick 12/22/18

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A couple of teams squaring off for the first time this season, the New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs collide at Scotiabank Arena. CBC Sports will air this Original Six matchup, which gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 22.

New York Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Odds

Toronto (-255) is being chosen as the favorite over New York (+215) and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 7 goals (-120 to bet the over, +100 for the under).

The Maple Leafs are 23-12 straight-up (SU) and have netted moneyline bettors 4.3 units this season. That winning percentage, ranked second in the league in this young season, isn’t too far off from to the 49-33 record the team posted during last year’s regular season campaign. Through 35 regular season contests, 17 of its games have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just three have pushed. The team’s 10-6 SU at home this season.

Toronto’s connected on 24.2 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is rated 18th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.3 percent of all penalties.

As a team, Toronto has been whistled for penalties just 3.0 times per game overall this season, and 2.0 per game over its last five at home. The team’s had to defend opponent power plays for just 8.0 minutes per game over its last five matchups, overall.

Averaging 29.9 saves per game with a .924 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (19 wins, 10 losses, and one OT loss) has been the top option in goal for the Maple Leafs this season. If head coach Mike Babcock chooses to give him the evening off, however, the Leafs may roll with Garret Sparks (4-3-3 record, .913 save percentage, 2.84 goals against average).

The Leafs will continue to rely on offensive production via Mitchell Marner and Morgan Rielly. Marner (47 points) has put up 10 goals and 37 assists and has recorded multiple points on 14 different occasions this year. Rielly has 11 goals and 29 assists to his name and has notched a point in 25 contests.

Over on the visiting bench, New York is 15-18 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 0.3 units this season. A total of 17 of its contests have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and none have pushed. New York’s 4-11 SU as the visiting team this season.

New York has converted on 20.0 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 25th overall and it’s successfully killed off 76.6 percent of all opponent power plays.

New York’s skaters have been penalized 4.1 times per game in total this season, and 5.2 per game over their past five contests. The team has had to kill penalties 8.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Henrik Lundqvist (2.87 goals against average and .914 save percentage) has been the main option in goal for New York. Lundqvist is averaging 30.6 saves per game and has 10 wins, 15 losses, and five OT losses to his credit.

Mika Zibanejad (11 goals, 19 assists) has been one of the primary playmaking threats for the visiting Rangers.

New York Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Predictions

Free NHL Pick: SU Winner – Maple Leafs, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • New York (5-1 in shootouts this season) has more experience in games decided by shootout. Toronto has yet to participate in one this year.
  • For both of these clubs, the over has hit in three of their last five matchups.
  • New York has managed 26.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Toronto has been attempting 31.4 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • Over New York’s last ten games, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 2-4 in those games).
  • New York skaters have accounted for the fifth-most hits in the league (26.1 per game).