Free Picks: Vancouver Canucks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Canucks vs Maple Leafs NHL
Vancouver Canucks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL, Rogers Arena

The Maple Leafs (28-12-5) are the class of the North Division, but they didn’t look like that on Sunday against Vancouver (17-18-3), who rallied for a 3-2 OT victory despite having been idled for 18 days due to a Covid outbreak on the team. Toronto is on their first four-game skid of the season and they have injury concerns. Can Vancouver pull the upset again?

Vancouver shocked Toronto, but can they do it again?

In my BetPicks predictions, I’m looking closely at the Canucks. On Sunday, they returned from an 18-day pause in their schedule due to Covid. No one expected them to give the first-place Maple Leafs any trouble. Goaltender Thatcher Demko is continuing to recover, but Braden Holtby put on a magnificent performance in only his second start in 12 games, making 37 saves.

For my Free Picks, I am leaning away from the Maple Leafs because they are somewhat in disarray. Forward William Nylander returned after missing five games in Covid protocol and he scored a goal. But he was late for a team meeting on Monday and may not play on Tuesday.

The Leafs won’t have forward Zach Hyman (knee) for at least two weeks and the team’s leading scorer, Auston Matthews, is still dealing with a wrist injury, although he tallied his league-leading 33rd goal of the season on Sunday.

While Toronto has lost four straight for the first time this season, Vancouver is playing for pride since they have no realistic hope of making the playoffs.

I think Vancouver was playing on pure emotion on Sunday. They rallied around forward J.T. Miller, who had stood up for the team’s safety earlier when he called out the NHL for the team’s punishing post-Covid schedule.

I don’t see the Canucks upsetting the Leafs twice in a row. The season series is knotted at 3-3 and only once have the total goals eclipsed six between these clubs, so the total goals being set at 6 is rather high.

Toronto goaltender Jack Campbell is 2-1-1 in his last five games with an .867 save percentage, having given up 16 goals over that stretch after compiling a record-11 game unbeaten streak. Holtby is the projected starter for Vancouver. In his last five, he is 2-1-2 and has given up 15 goals for a .918 save percentage.

The  NHL game odds favor the Leafs, but I think the safest bet is to take the Under (-117) with 10Bet. If you believe that the Canucks have found inspiration, there is a big payday in betting them on the Money Line (+220) with 10Bet.

I think the Canucks keep this game close, so I like Vancouver (+1.5) with the Puck Line (+171) with 10Bet for a riskier play with a potential big payout.

Stats

  • The Under has cashed in 9 of Vancouver’s last 12 games.
  • Vancouver is 8-4 SU in their last 12 games.
  • Toronto is 1-4 SU in their last five games.
  • Vancouver is 12-9 ATS at home this season.

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I live in the land of ice and snow in Toronto, Canada's largest city. I can't skate very well, but I know sports, especially hockey, after a long career writing about the Toronto Maple Leafs and other teams at the country's largest newspaper, the Toronto Star. Betting on sports can be a rewarding experience when you understand the trends and underlying characteristics of the teams and players before laying down a bet. That's how I hope to point you in the right direction. Follow me on Twitter

All Reviews by Curtis Rush

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