Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:15 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Toronto -½ +144 @ Pittsburgh
7:08 PM EST. Regulation only. When you play in the center of the hockey universe, the spotlight is white hot. When the praise comes, it’s often overhyped. That street runs both ways though, as when the criticism comes, it’s pretty damn heavy handed. When Auston Matthews goes four games without a goal, it becomes front page news. The Leafs have gone 1-1-1 in their last three games, losing to Vegas in OT, and to the Penguins 4-2 on Friday night. Toronto knocked off Vancouver on Saturday night, but beating the Canucks right now doesn’t count for much.
The Leafs took more crap for going down 2-0 to lowly Vancouver than praise for their comeback win. Although the Maple Leafs are considered to be struggling, they are playing some damn good hockey. Since November 1, Toronto is ranked seventh in puck possession time in the offensive end durinbg five-on-five play. Nobody is talking about that though. All they are talking about is the Leafs four wins and six losses across their last 10 games. We’d like to point out that Toronto lost three of those games in extra time and they’ve outshot their last three opponents 95-to-71, including the Penguins—30-to-22 just four days ago.
Situationally speaking, this looks like a prime spot to fade the Penguins, who have rebounded after a rough patch, going 2-0-1 during their three game road trip. While it looks like the Pens have turned it around, they were outshot in two of those three victories, including a 5-4 OT loss in Montreal on Saturday night, where the Habs fired 42 shots, with the Pens answering with just 24 of their own. Pittsburgh ought to be thanking its lucky stars that they picked up a point in that game. It does not take long for a team like Pittsburgh to rebound in the market, but let's not forget that Pittsburgh has lost eight of its last 10 games and were badly outplayed in many of them. The Leafs were a -151 favorite in Toronto over this team just four days ago and today, they are not even close to that price simply because of a couple of injuries (Brodie and Muzzin) and some recent, misleading results.
Toronto -½ +144 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.88)