Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:20 PM EST
7:35 PM EST. OT included. The Panthers come in as one of the hottest teams in the league with nine wins in their last 12 games capped off by Saturday’s 6-5 win over another red-hot team, the Penguins. However, in their win over Pittsburgh, Pens goalie Tristan Jarry was yanked after allowing four goals on 16 shots, which gave the Panthers a 4-1 lead at the time. Fast forward to the third period with the score now 5-2 and Pittsburgh would tie it up 5-5 before a very late goal gave the ‘Cats another win. Florida has allowed 3, 5, 3, 3, 7, and 5 goals respectively in six of their last eight games, which reveals the big risk you take when spotting a price with them. Yes, the Panthers create and they’re dangerous but so too are the Maple Leafs but it’s Toronto that’s taking back a tag here.
There are several factors at work combining to drive the price up on the Leafs. First, Auston Matthews remains out. Secondly, Toronto will play the tail-end of back-to-backs after playing in Tampa Bay last night. Third, the Leafs will play their third game in four nights after playing their two biggest threats, Boston and Tampa. Finally, the Leafs will go with backup Curtis McElhinney. Tough spot? Perhaps but Toronto is more than capable and so, too, is McElhinney. McElhinney has started all of the Maple Leafs back-to-backs this season and has gone 4-3-0 with a 2.33 GAA and .930 SV% on the road. Furthermore, this is very much like a home game for the Leafs, as Sunrise will be jam packed with Toronto fans like it always is. Lastly, Florida is the team that might be flat after a very emotional week that saw them beat Washington in dramatic fashion in their tribute game to those poor kids that were killed and subsequently beating Pittsburgh, also in dramatic fashion. Throw in a two full day layoff for the ‘Cats and they may have some heavy legs here. Regardless, we’re happy to be taking back this price on Toronto in Florida and would do so 100% of the time. Matthews is certainly missed but the Leafs are extremely deep up front.
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Toronto +121 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.42)