Free Picks: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks

Maple Leafs vs Canucks NHL week 16
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks, NHL, Scotiabank Arena

Vancouver has already stunned Toronto this season, but I can’t see that happening again. However, that possibility is still in the back of my mind. For this game, I bank on goal scoring, focusing on one specific team. History is on my side, so will that trend continue on Saturday.

Nothing is ever guaranteed.

What’s great about the all-Canadian North Division is that no team is guaranteed a win. While certain teams may look stronger on paper, the North has been a dogfight this season.

With every team having a chance to win, that impacts NHL odds. And in this contest, we’re seeing two extremes. The Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves at the top of the standings, while Vancouver is in the North Division basement.

However, I think I want to stay away from choosing any team straight up. I think Vancouver’s odds as the underdog is enticing, but I think looking at the total goals will be your best NHL bet for this game.

This season, in head-to-head competition, the Canucks and Maple Leafs have averaged 6 goals per game over 8 games.

Recent games have been high-scoring between these teams as well. I think this is the perfect opportunity to see goal scoring.

Toronto’s defense has improved, but I don’t think their ranking of 8th in goals against is justified. For the most part, they are playing weaker opponents and they aren’t being challenged like other teams in the NHL.

Adding on to that, the Canucks are mediocre on defense. For a team that competes in the North Division, that is bad.

Vancouver is terrible on offense, but have managed to find success against Toronto this season. Averaging 6 goals per game in total, I think we have a real opportunity to see that trend continue for these teams.

For this wager to be successful, we’ll need contributions from both sides. I think Toronto will have no issue scoring, but Vancouver scares me.

I was tempted to take the over in total goals, but I think taking the over in home team goals (Toronto) will be the safest bet for this game.

Stats

  • Toronto averages 3.50 goals per game against Vancouver in last 10 meetings.
  • The Maple Leafs are ranked 5th in goals for.
  • Vancouver ranks 29th in road defense.
  • The Canucks rank 30th in shots allowed.

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have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter @Patrick_Trudeau so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.

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