Free Picks: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks

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

I am obviously a huge fan of betting on the over, but I think Vancouver vs. Toronto is a perfect match up to see biscuits buried. With the sheer firepower from both sides (plus the sketchy defense) I imagine the Canucks and Maple Leafs will be scoring at will. Vancouver is one of the highest rated offensive groups in the NHL in goals for, while Toronto has elite goal scorers throughout their lineup.

The Vancouver Canucks' success this season is sketchy.

Before you get your knickers in a twist, let me explain. Yes, Vancouver is one game below .500 and yes the Canucks just came off a 4-game win streak. However, of the Canucks’ 6 wins on the season, three of them came against the Ottawa Senators. The Canucks may have one of the best scoring offenses in the NHL, but 35% of their goals have come against the Sens (which spanned over three games).

What I am getting at is the Canucks may not be all that special. I know, they don’t decide who they play. But Vancouver is only above .500 against one team in the North Division – the Winnipeg Jets.

Thursday night, the Canucks will open up a three-game set against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto enters this series atop the North Division.

The first thing I want to analyze in this contest is the defense, specifically goals against per game. While the Canucks are the league’s number-one scoring offense, they rank dead last in goals against. This makes me think that the duo of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner will run wild on the Canucks’ defensive group.

Marner is one of the leading scorers in the league. Matthews hasn’t been as hot, but fans of the sport know all too well that he can heat up at a moment’s notice.

Toronto’s goals against per game is average. They can’t be considered elite but they are far from the bottom of the league. Despite being a top team, the Maple Leafs allowed 5 goals to the Ottawa Senators earlier in the season. To be fair, that was on opening night, but the potential is there for the Maple Leafs to allow a ton of goal. Toronto fans themselves will tell you that their defense is far from amazing.

It’s a trend on BetPicks, but I love the over. Vancouver is an offensive weapon which is a plus, but they also allow many goals, which is another plus. Toronto isn’t dominant in goal scoring or defending, which serves a purpose. Toronto has the ability to light the lamp and I wouldn’t expect Toronto to shutout the Canucks, either.

Expect there to be tons of scoring in this one. I love betting the over in total goals. It’s one of my favorite bets and I think this NHL free pick will cash thanks to the high-scoring nature on both sides.

Stats

  • Toronto ranks #1 in Power Play percentage
  • The Maple Leafs’ last three games have hit the over.
  • Vancouver are 1-5 SU in their last 6.
  • The Canucks have been underdogs in 4 consecutive games.

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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.