Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Air Canada Centre will be the site for an Eastern Conference tilt as the Pittsburgh Penguins pay a visit to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s the third and final time that these two clubs will meet in the regular season. CBC Sports will broadcast the game, and the action gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 10.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs Odds

With a -115 moneyline, Pittsburgh comes into the game as the slight favorite. The line for Toronto sits at -105 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 7 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -105 for the over and -115 on the under.

Netting moneyline bettors 2.4 units, Toronto is 39-29 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked third in the Atlantic Division so far in this young season, is a welcome improvement compared to what the team managed during last years regular season (40-42). Through 68 regular season contests, 33 of its games have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and just four have pushed. The team is 22-10 SU at home this season.

The Maple Leafs have converted on 20.9 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 11th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.4 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, the Maple Leafs have been penalized just 3.3 times per game overall this season, and 2.0 per game over their last five games home outings. The teams had to kill penalties for just 4.9 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total.

Averaging 31.1 saves per game with a .919 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (33-23-5) has been the best option in goal for the Leafs this season. If Toronto chooses to give him a rest, however, the team may roll with Curtis McElhinney (7-6-6 record, .931 save percentage, 2.20 goals against average).

Mitchell Marner and William Nylander will both be focal points for the Maple Leafs. Marner (54 points) has tallied 18 goals and 36 assists and has recorded two or more points in 13 different games this year. Nylander has 14 goals and 36 assists to his credit and has notched at least one point in 36 games.

On the other bench, Pittsburgh is 39-29 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.3 units this year. A total of 37 of its contests have gone over the total, while 29 have gone under and just two have pushed. As the visiting team, the Penguins are 14-20 SU.

The Penguins currently have the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve converted on 26.4 percent of their extra-man chances this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 11th overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.1 percent of all opponent power plays.

Pittsburgh’s players have been penalized 4.1 times per game this season, 4.0 per game over their past five games total, and 4.6 per game over their last five games as the visiting team. The teams had to defend opponent power plays just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Matt Murray (25.7 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Pittsburgh. Murray has 25 wins, 16 losses, and two OT losses to his credit, while registering a .909 save percentage and 2.82 goals against average this year.

Leading the offensive counter for the visiting Penguins will be Evgeni Malkin (38 goals, 46 assists) and Phil Kessel (28 goals, 49 assists).

Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Predictions

Free NHL Tip: SU Winner – Maple Leafs, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Two of Toronto’s last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 6-2 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The total has gone over in four of Toronto’s last five games.
  • Pittsburgh’s attempted 34.2 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 35.1 in its last 10 games.
  • Toronto has allowed 2.9 goals per game overall this season, but is allowing 4.3 goals per matchup over its four-game losing skid.
  • Over Pittsburgh’s last ten games, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 5-1 in those games).
  • Pittsburgh skaters have given out the leagues seventh-most hits per game (24.0), but the teams averaged just 19.2 hits over their last five away games.