NHL Betting: Toronto can overcome the handicap if they keep their heads


Montreal-Tampa Bay

Two all-Atlantic Division games on today's schedule, and as the race behind Boston tightens up Tampa Bay are trying to avoid three straight regulation losses as well as hang on to second place.

There's good news and bad news on the injury front for the Bolts with Steven Stamkos back taking contact in practice after a broken leg. Of course that means he's still unavailable today, plus there's doubts over Valtteri Filppula and both of their goaltenders.

It's a better scenario for the Canadiens as they could pick up a third success this week, although before that their frailties had been exposed in a significant losing run, as a low scoring team they often rely on powerplay opportunites whilst their goal difference at even strength only leaves a lot to be desired.

Tampa possess two of the top five highest scoring rookies in Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, whose development has been huge for their success as absences have almost forced them to sink or swim.

I think this is a good matchup for Tampa if they stay disciplined so I'll tip them at 2.90.

 

Toronto-Ottawa

Right now the Leafs are the hottest team in the league, as 17 points from their last ten games and five consecutive home wins has the Air Canada Centre very excited.

Offence has flowed with their confidence including a six goal performance against Florida on Thursday with six different scorers.

Ottawa can also make it three in a row tonight but before that had only taken one from five. Of the playoff chasers from the Atlantic they need the points the most with ground to make up.

There's strong evidence for a high-scoring game here with 6.5 total goals at 2.65, both clubs average over three goals against and are two of the worst offenders for shots on net.

There's also the fact that mark has been passed on each of the occasions they've met this season and those games have been incredibly frantic.

Toronto have emerged from those two clashes this season via shootouts but they are on a roll offensively and I'd expect them to come out on top more convincingly this time around.

 

Best Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs to overcome -1.5 handicap at 3.15