Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A pair of teams that have put themselves squarely in the playoff hunt, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Toronto Maple Leafs face off at Air Canada Centre for an Eastern Conference tilt. The opening face-off takes place at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 14, and fans at home are able to watch it live on Sportsnet.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs Odds

Toronto is 34-24 straight up (SU) and has earned 3.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. That win percentage, ranked fifth in the NHL so far this season, is a welcome improvement compared to what the team managed during the 2016-17 season (40-42). 28 of the teams 58 games have gone under the total, while 26 have gone over and just four have pushed. The teams 18-10 SU at home this season. The Maple Leafs have converted on 20.4 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked sixth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 83.0 percent of all penalties. The Maple Leafs, as a collective unit, have been penalized just 3.4 times per game overall this season, and 2.0 per game over their last five outings home outings. The teams had to kill penalties for just 5.1 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total. Sporting a .921 save percentage and 30.9 saves per game, Frederik Andersen (29-19-4) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Leafs this year. If head coach Mike Babcock chooses to give him a rest, however, Toronto could turn to Curtis McElhinney (6-4-4 record, .932 save percentage, 2.27 goals against average). The Leafs will continue seeking offensive production out of Auston Matthews and William Nylander. Matthews (47 points) has tallied 26 goals and 21 assists and has recorded two or more points 13 times this year. Nylander has 14 goals and 31 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 32 games. On the other bench, Columbus is 29-27 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.1 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. Through 56 regular season outings, 30 of its games have gone under the total, while 24 have gone over and just one has pushed. The Blue Jackets are 12-16 SU as the visiting team this season. The Blue Jackets have converted on just 14.7 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 28th overall and it’s successfully defended 75.0 percent of all penalties. Columbus skaters have been penalized only 3.1 times per game in total this season, 3.0 per game over their past five contests total, and 3.4 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 6.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Sergei Bobrovsky (28.4 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Columbus. Bobrovsky owns a 24-22-4 record, while registering a .920 save percentage and 2.45 goals against average this year. Artemi Panarin (15 goals, 31 assists) has been one of the primary playmaking threats for the visiting Blue Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Free Picks

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

Betting Notes

  • Two of Columbus last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 6-4 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The over has hit in three of Toronto’s last five games.
  • Columbus has attempted 34.5 shots per contest overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 39.2 in its last five road games.
  • Toronto has averaged 3.3 goals per game overall this season, but has raised it up to 5.0 per contest over its four-game winning streak.
  • Seven of Toronto’s last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals, and the club is 5-2 overall in those games.