Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. The Maple Leafs stock is lower right now than it has been all year after a four-game losing streak that included an ugly loss to Buffalo this past week and an ugly performance against the Capitals exactly one week ago on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada. That Auston Matthews is still out, that Michael Nylander hasn’t scored in 10 games and that Frederik Andersen has been shaky lately only lowers the Leafs’ stock, thus now would be the time to buy. A four-game losing streak in the midst of an unusual schedule means jack. The Leafs have played twice since Feb 27 and one of the games was outdoors. Rest assured that Mike Babcock will have the talented Maple Leafs playing at a very high level tonight. If Andersen regains his form, they’ll have an outstanding chance to win and if he doesn’t, Toronto can still win. Regardless, the Maple Leafs a dog at home, albeit a small one, is a bargain to be sure.
The Penguins stock on the other hand is soaring after three straight wins and the best record in hockey since January 5. The Penguins have been through this before and will put less importance on this game than the Maple Leafs, as the latter is learning how to win big games. To the Penguins, this isn’t a big game but to the Maple Leafs and their fans, it is. Pittsburgh has more important things to worry about.
As the Pittsburgh Penguins march towards the playoffs and an attempt at a third straight Stanley Cup championship, the injury list is beginning to crowd. The team announced that Bryan Rust is dealing with a concussion, Dominik Simon is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury, and that Zach Aston-Reese and Matt Murray are “making progress.” Obviously there are other players on the Penguins whose absence would be more noticeable, but don’t underestimate the impact of losing several depth players at one time. Rust’s importance to the team is sometimes understated, but with 33 points this season and the ability to play in every situation, he’ll be missed. Aston-Reese and Simon have taken turns on the top line at times this season and will force the Penguins to insert Josh Jooris into the lineup should they not be able to make a quick recovery. Riley Sheahan might end up moving to wing to fill out the line with Phil Kessel and Derick Brassard. Matt Murray of course is a huge wildcard for the Penguins, which gives way to Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith to try and show that they could be relied upon in a postseason start. Mike Sullivan has to mix and match now and while the Pens are always dangerous, we’re in the business of finding value and Pittsburgh is more vulnerable than the market thinks right now while the Maple Leafs are underpriced for one of the very few times this season.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
TORONTO -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)