Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. Detroit is dangerous enough to get behind here at this price. The Red Wings had the Lightning dead to rights last game out but lost it in OT after blowing a 5-3 third period lead. While a loss is a loss, the Red Wings have picked up points in six of their last nine games and are absolutely in the playoff discussion. Several players are playing at a high level and they can skate with the Maple Leafs all day long in terms of speed. More than all of that however, is that this is a great spot to catch the Leafs napping for several reasons.
First, the return of William Nylander has Toronto and the media in a frenzy. It’s like the Pope is moving here and we are suggesting that for this one game, the return of Nylander is more of a distraction than anything else. When Erik Karlsson returned to Ottawa last Saturday, that, too, was a huge distraction, as his teammates kept on feeding him the puck in an attempt to get him on the scoreboard. Karlsson had a game-high nine shots on net and the Sharks lost 6-2. This isn’t the same thing but the distraction and attention that Nylander is getting is exactly the same. Microphones and media surround his every move like the Paparazzi are in town.
Situationally speaking, Toronto returns home from a brief, two-game trip through Minnesota and Buffalo. They went 2-0 on said trip but allowed 41 shots against in both games. Combined, the Leafs were outshot, 82-53. After this one home game, the Maple Leafs head out on the road for five games that begins in Boston on Saturday and subsequently takes them through Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay and ends in New Jersey. No question that the Leafs will be looking forward to getting away and to also land and play in Florida for two games over three days. Finally, Toronto has allowed the most High Danger Scoring Chances in the entire league over the past month and it’s not even close. Don’t get us wrong, as we fear betting against the Maple Leafs as much as the next guy because that offense is friggin scary. That said, they are constantly getting outshot and constantly allowing 40 or more shots against. In fact, they have allowed 41, 41, 41 and 40 shots against in their last four games, got outshot in all of them and won all four. That’s not a Stanley Cup winning model and they’re going to have to start losing some games to learn that. This is one of those games they can lose because winning has made them sloppily complacent, they have distractions galore here and they have a long road trip on deck. They are also using Garrett Sparks in net.
OT included - Detroit +264 for 1 unit.
Regulation only - Detroit-½ +450 for 1 unit.
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Detroit -½ +450 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 9.00)