NHL Best Bets: Maple Leafs vs. Penguins Game Picks
Two teams looking to continue their track record of making the playoffs will collide tonight, with the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Toronto Maple Leafs (+112) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (-134) Total: 6.5 (O-130, U+104)
The Maple Leafs and Penguins have met twice this season, with the Pens winning the first meeting 4-2, while Toronto replied with a 5-2 victory in the second matchup. Tonight, the rubber match will go down in the final meeting of the season between these teams. Both sides played yesterday, with the Maple Leafs besting the Minnesota Wild 4-3, while the Pens dropped the Flyers 4-1.
Something will have to give tonight, though, with both teams entering on win streaks. The Maple Leafs have won two straight and posted a 6-1-3 record over their past ten games, while the Penguins have won five in a row and are 7-2-1 over that same sample size. It wasn’t exactly a consistent start to the regular season for the Pens, but their strong veteran core has figured things out and put themselves back in good standing.
Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the Maple Leafs are expected to lean on Erik Kallgren, while the Pens should do the same with Casey DeSmith. The Maple Leafs netminder has posted a 2-2-4 record, paired with a .891 save percentage, while DeSmith is 3-4-1 with a .909 save percentage. Each side will turn to their backups today after their top goalies played in last night’s game.
These teams are much more evenly matched tonight than the line suggests, meaning there’s more value on the visitors’ side on the moneyline. The Pens are playing well at the moment, but the Leafs should be able to do enough to win, thus why we’re siding with their plus-money value on the moneyline at +112.
Best Bet: Maple Leafs moneyline (+112)
There’s certainly a lot of offense in this matchup, which should only get boosted knowing that both teams are expected to start their backup goalies. The Penguins are sixth in the NHL in goals scored per game, while the Leafs are slowly charging up the ranks after an uncharacteristically slow start. The total for tonight is set at 6.5, with the over having some slight juice at -130 while the under is sitting at +104. With the first meeting seeing six goals and the second seven goals, it’s not hard to see the latter transpiring again tonight, meaning siding with the over has some value.
Best Bet: Over 6.5 (-130)
Some of the Maple Leafs’ core four on offense have really started to improve their play over the last stretch of games, maybe none more so than William Nylander. The Swedish star has led the Leafs over their previous five games with four goals and has already scored against the Pens this season. He’s tallied 11 goals and 11 assists through 22 games and is looking to play at a point-per-game pace for the first time in his career after coming close last year. Nylander has game-changing ability and should be active on the scoresheet tonight, meaning targeting the value he has to score at +186 is worth backing.
Best Prop: William Nylander to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+186)