NHL Hockey: Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 7:00 PM (Scotiabank Arena)
Moneyline: Chicago Blackhawks +200 / Toronto Maple Leafs -240
Over/Under: 6 Puck Line: Toronto -1.5 +115
NHL Picks and Parlays: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
The ‘Hawks enter tonight the winners of three-straight and six points back of the Arizona Coyotes for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with thirteen games remaining on the year. Perennial All-Star Patrick Kane, who on the year has a team-leading 98 points, is a major reason for the teams surge since the firing of franchise coaching legend Joel Quenneville. Another player to watch for is center Dylan Strome. Strome was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes on November 25 and since then has tallied 41 points, twenty-seven of those coming in the past 22 games. While both Kane and Strome have been hot, so too has the Over total for this Blackhawks team. In their last 26 games played, the over has hit twenty-four times for an astounding 92% success rate. The last time these two teams met back in October, the final score was 7-6 for Toronto, which bodes well for another high-scoring affair tonight.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs enter tonight coming off an embarrassing 6-2 loss at home to the league leading Tampa Bay Lightning. Following the loss, star center Auston Matthews stated, “The effort just wasn’t there at times, and in the third period we pretty much just quit”. It was the second time in the past six games that the team surrendered six goals, highlighting a need for team-wide defensive improvement. Another issue surrounding the team was the accusations that star defenseman Morgan Rielly directed a homophobic slur at somebody in the midst of the game against Tampa. While he was later cleared of any wrongdoing, it’s just another issue surrounding this polarizing team. It isn’t all bad for the Leafs as they are still 6-3-1 in their last 10 games played and sitting 3rd in the Atlantic Division with 89 points. While a first-round playoff date with the red-hot Boston Bruins seems inevitable, look for the team to bounce back in a strong way tonight after being embarrassed on home ice the last time out and to gain retribution for their teammates wrongful public shaming.
NHL Trends by Cover The Spread 365
Over has hit in the last 24 of 26 games played
Blackhawks are 0-for-14 on the power play in the last five contests
Blackhawks are 8-2 in their last 10 vs. Eastern Conference
Blackhawks are 1-7 in their last 8 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
Toronto Maple Leafs
Maple Leafs are 5-0 in their last 5 games as a favorite of -201 or greater
Maple Leafs are 9-2 in their last 11 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation
Over is 5-0-1 in Maple Leafs last 6 games as a favorite of -201 or greater
Over is 14-3 in Maple Leafs last 17 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
Free NHL Expert Picks: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Blackhawks
While the Blackhawks have a penchant for scoring goals and are 14-6 in their last 20 games played, they are playing their fourth game in six nights and don’t have the depth to truly match-up with this Maple Leafs team. Toronto is coming off an embarrassing loss they will be looking to avenge along with banding together to support their teammate Morgan Rielly.
Pick: Toronto -1.5 +110
*Due to Chicago’s recent Over success, I wouldn’t fault anyone for taking the Over 7 here too*