Tonight is the last night of action before the NHL goes on hiatus for three days for Christmas break. Consequently, there are many games on the card tonight. If you are an avid NHL bettor, you’ll need to look towards college football and NBA to get your sports betting fix. Some of my college football bowl picks will be here at the blog, including the Boca Rotan Bowl tonight, and then I’ll have a pick for the Bahamas Bowl on Christmas Eve. It would sure feel nice to hit the break with a winning pick. Last night was just a tease. The Penguins were down 3-1 in the 3rd period, but stormed back to tie the game up to force overtime. However, it was all a tease, and I hate teases, the Panthers ultimately captured the victory 4-3 in a shootout. For a team that is so inept offensively, that scoring output definitely caught me by surprise. We’ll see if that works on their favor, and the Panthers are able to parlay this win into some momentum after they return from Christmas break. The Pens are still in pretty good shape, so I wouldn’t worry about them even though they lost this one.
Tonight I take a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars. This is a bet that has largely been a success for me this season. As far as the Leafs are concerned, this is a pretty big game for them. They do not under any circumstances want to head into the break on a four game losing streak. The Leafs were just on a six game winning streaked and I warned that it could quickly turn into a nose dive. I mean, after all, this is the Leafs we are talking about. Can we really take any success from them at this point in the year seriously? Tonight they will look to get back on the winning track against Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Dallas Stars
In a way, the Leafs and Stars are similar to one another in many ways. They both pack offensive punch and can light the red light up, but the defense is holding them back significantly. Likewise, they play is entertaining games that are often fun to watch. Entertaining hockey didn’t win the Kings two Stanley Cups, though. Entertainment doesn’t translate to success. The Leafs rank 1st in the NHL in scoring, potting 3.29 goals per game against opposing teams. They have had to make sacrifices on defenses to make that possible. They play a skate-n-gun style of play, which leads to many turnovers that results in scoring chances in their own zone. Toronto is 24th in goals against, allowing an average of 2.97 goals per game.
Conversely, the Stars have a lot of holes to fix on their defense as well. The Stars are actually worse than the Leafs with regards to goals against, as they are giving up 3.38 goals per game. That stat equates to 30th in the league, dead last. On offense the Stars are holding tough, scoring 2.91 goals a game for 10th in the NHL. The Leafs are 19-15 to the OVER and the Stars are 17-15. In their previous two games against each other, the Leafs and Stars accumulated a total of 16 goals. On December 2nd they played to a 5-3 Leafs win and they combined for 78 shots on net. The OVER 5.5 is the bet for me tonight.
Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (-120) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)