Toronto Looks to Remain Hot

Inside The Rink Bettor's Row

Tonight, the NHL back is back with five games on the slate. While the board offers a few intriguing match-ups, Toronto Vs. New Jersey has jumped off the paper the most. While general manager Tommy Fitzgerald has done in New Jersey in regards to drafting a plethora of young talent, they have not shown the same promise to gamblers. On the other hand, while not being as profitable as many have expected, Toronto has still managed to stay in the green for the gambling community. New Jersey enters tonight’s tilt with a 15-23-5 record, leaving them at the bottom of a stacked Metropolitan Division. With Toronto entering with a 27-10-3 record, good enough for a third-place spot in the Atlantic.

New Jersey is currently on a four-game losing skid; however, they have shown some promise in their past two match-ups against both Tampa Bay and Carolina, losing both games by only one goal. However, the road has not been kind to this young Devils team throughout the course of this season, leaving the team with a 5-13-2 record in road match-ups. If the Devils want to grow with this young core, it is of the utmost importance for this team to learn how to steal some games on the road, especially in conference. New Jersey has only found the back of the net 49 times on the road, with an average of 2.45 GPG. On the contrary, they have allowed 76 goals on the road, leaving them with an average of 3.8 GAA on the road. Leaving the team with a goal differential of -27 on the road.

Entering tonight’s match-up at the Scotiabank Arena, the Leafs hold an impressive record of 15-4-1 at home. In their previous five match-ups, the Leafs are 4-1, including an amazing come from behind win on the road against Detroit on Saturday night. Scoring goals at home has been no issue for the Leaf’s offense, averaging 3.35 goals at home while only averaging 2.3 against, leaving them with a goal differential of +21 in their home match-ups. Due to the current state of the Atlantic division, it is vital that the Leafs don’t drop home games to such inferior opponents, so you can imagine that these guys will be locked and loaded after having yesterday off.

Both teams will be missing some key pieces as they enter today’s match-up. Toronto will be without veteran defenseman Jake Muzzin and forward Nick Ritchie. New Jersey, on the other hand, has some more severe issues in regards to injuries. Having already lost Miles Wood and Jonathan Bernier to the IR due to season-ending hip surgeries, the Devils have lost a few more pieces recently. The promising young netminder Mackenzie Blackwood has recently been placed on the IR with a heel injury. They are joining their best defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who remains out of the lineup with a broken jaw. Lastly, the 12th overall draft pick Michael McLeod is currently listed as day-to-day. Per Devils reporter Amanda Stein, the Devils worked primarily on skills, and special teams work at their morning skate, providing no insight for tonight’s lineup. That being said, I would expect the usual pairings for this Devils squad tonight.

With all the signs pointing to a dominant Leaf’s performance, Vegas has certainly taken notice. Currently, BETUS is offering a price of -340 on the money line and -125 on the puck line. The total is also listed at 6.5 for +105 as of 3:20 ET. With all of that being said, my play of the night will be on the Leaf’s puck line. New Jersey has too much inexperience in the net to handle this Leaf’s lineup full of natural offensive threats. The best play in this match-up will be the risk to win two units on the Leaf’s puck line. I will also be sprinkling 0.5 units on Marner over 1.5 points, which BETUS currently has listed at +155. He has had 2 points in his last three games, and I don’t see this being the spot that slows him down. After tonight’s match-up, both teams will be heading to Newark to square off tomorrow evening, so this match-up also can provide bettors with a picture of what’s to come.
For gambling odds, please check out our Inside the Rink – Bettors Row:

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