Free Picks: Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Jets vs Maple Leafs NHL week 18
Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL, Bell MTS Place

The Maple Leafs are in the driver’s seat going into the last game between the clubs before the playoffs. Toronto holds a commanding 6-3 lead in head-to-head matchups during the regular season, including four wins in their last five meetings. But neither team is running at full throttle. 

Toronto in the driver’s seat

The Jets are 2-3 in their last five games and the Leafs are slightly better at 3-2. Both have clinched playoff positions. The Jets will face the Edmonton Oilers while the Leafs will meet their old rivals, the Montreal Canadiens.

The Leafs aren’t scoring a ton of goals lately. In three of their last five games, they’ve tallied three goals or less. The Jets offense is even worse. They’ve scored only 13 goals over their last five games.

The best sports bet today is taking the Leafs on the Puck Line. They want to go into the playoffs on a roll. Auston Matthews is looking to add to his goal-scoring total. He has five goals in his last five games. Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler is right behind with four goals in his last five.

The Leafs are the superior team and are favored in the NHL odds. They score more goals per game and allow fewer than the Jets. So I think this is one of those no-doubter games. The Leafs are 7-1 Straight Up in their last nine games, and I don’t think they are going to lose two games in a row at this important stage.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg is 0-7 Straight Up in their last seven games against Toronto when playing at home. For my Free Picks and predictions, I’m feeling a 5-2 victory for Toronto in this one. 

Considering that Toronto is 7-1-2 in their last 10, I think Toronto brings some firepower. Winnipeg has been struggling at 2-8 in their last 10, although they posted a convincing 5-0 victory in their last outing against Vancouver. 

The NHL odds favor the Leafs, and I like them on the Puck Line (-1.5) with 10Bet (+151) for a good payout. This may look risky, but Toronto has won by two goals or more in three of their last five games against Winnipeg.

The total goals is set pretty high at 6.0, but I’m leaning toward the Over (-110) because Toronto is just too strong offensively and five of their nine games against Winnipeg have gone Over 6.0.

I’m not comfortable taking Winnipeg (+1.5) to cover on the Puck Line (-184) because I don’t have a good sense that they’ve found their offense on a consistent basis, so I don’t expect them to make this game close.

Stats

  • Toronto is 7-2 SU in their last nine games. 
  • Toronto is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games.
  • The total has gone Under in four of Winnipeg’s last five games.
  • Winnipeg is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games.

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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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