Nationwide Arena will play host to an Eastern Conference matchup as the Columbus Blue Jackets take the ice against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 20, and you’ll be able to catch it live on Sportsnet.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Toronto is 21-14 straight up (SU) and has earned 1.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 35 regular season matches, 16 of its games have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just three have pushed. As the away team in 2017-18, the Leafs are 10-9 SU.
Toronto has converted on 22.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that places them in the top-5 among NHL teams. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 11th overall, and it has successfully killed off 82.6 percent of all penalties.
Toronto, as a collective unit, has been penalized just 3.6 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 2.4 per game over its last five on the road. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 31.6 saves per game with a .923 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (18-11-1) has been the top option in goal for Toronto this season. Andersen did just play yesterday, however, so head coach Mike Babcock may choose to rest him and instead turn to Curtis McElhinney (3-3 record, .921 save percentage, 2.55 goals against average).
Auston Matthews and James van Riemsdyk will both be relied on to facilitate things for the visiting Maple Leafs. Matthews has 26 points via 13 goals and 13 assists, and has recorded two or more points in eight different games. van Riemsdyk has 16 goals and nine assists to his name, and has notched at least one point in 17 games.
On the other bench, Columbus is 20-14 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 2.0 units this season. 17 of its outings have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just one has pushed. The teams 12-6 SU at home this season.
Columbus has converted on just 10.1 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s ranked 31st in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 11th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.4 percent of all opponent power plays.
Columbus players have been called for penalties only 3.0 times per game in total this season, and 4.6 per game over their last five outings. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays just 8.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Sergei Bobrovsky has stopped 27.5 shots per game as the primary option in goal for Columbus. Bobrovsky has 17 wins, 11 losses, and one overtime loss to his name and has maintained a .919 save percentage and 2.44 goals against average this season.
The Jackets offense will be led by Artemi Panarin (seven goals, 21 assists).
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over
- Columbus is 3-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Toronto is 2-1 in shootouts.
- The total has gone over in three of Columbus last five outings.
- Toronto has managed 27.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Columbus has been attempting 34.4 shots per game over its last five home outings.