Two teams that are squarely in playoff contention, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins clash at PPG Paints Arena in an Eastern Conference matchup. The opening face-off is at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 9, and fans at home can catch the game live on CBC Sports.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Pittsburgh Penguins Odds
With a -125 moneyline, Pittsburgh comes into the contest as the favorite. The line for Toronto sits at +105, and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The odds for betting that total sit at -130 for the over and +110 for the under.
Toronto is 18-11 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 2.8 units this season. Through 29 regular season matches, 14 of its games have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just three have pushed. This 2017-18 Maple Leafs team is 9-6 SU on the road.
Toronto has converted on 21.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 14th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.3 percent of all penalties.
The Leafs, as a collective unit, have been penalized just 3.6 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 2.4 per game over its last five road outings. The teams been forced to kill penalties just 6.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 31.7 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (16-9-1) has been the best option in goal for Toronto this season. If head coach Mike Babcock chooses to rest him, however, Toronto might turn to Curtis McElhinney (2-2), who has a .900 save percentage and 3.07 goals against average this year.
The visiting Maple Leafs have relied heavily on Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri this year. Matthews has 26 points via 13 goals and 13 assists, and has recorded multiple points eight times. Kadri has 13 goals and 10 assists to his name (and has logged at least one point in 18 games).
Pittsburgh is 16-14 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 30 regular season contests, 17 of its games have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just one has pushed. This year, the teams 10-4 SU as the home team.
The Penguins come into the matchup with the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve converted on 27.0 percent of their extra-man advantages this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 19th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.5 percent of all penalties.
Pittsburgh players have been penalized 4.7 times per game in total this season, and 4.0 per game over their past ten outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays 8.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Matt Murray (26.6 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for the Penguins. Murray has 12 wins, nine losses, and one overtime loss to his credit and has recorded a mediocre 2.95 goals against average and a fairly-weak .906 save percentage this year.
Phil Kessel (14 goals, 21 assists) will lead the offensive attack for the home team.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
- The majority (55.6 percent) of Toronto’s wins have come by two or more goals, and the team is 10-8 overall in such games. 6 of Pittsburgh’s wins (37.5 percent) have been decided by two or more goals.
- The Maple Leafs are 6-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 13-9 in games where they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total.
- The total has gone over in three of Pittsburgh’s last five games.
- Pittsburgh is ranked 10th this season with 8.5 giveaways per game. That figure has trended higher recently, as the teams averaged 10.5 giveaways over its last 10 games and 10.2 giveaways over its last five.
- Toronto has averaged 10.4 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 12.7 giveaways per game (ranked 28th in the league).
- The Pens this season have handed the ninth-most hits in the NHL (23.4 per game).