Every season in the NHL, there are a handful of teams who rise t the top of the standings and immediately look like Stanley Cup favorites. Then there are a bunch of teams who are poor from the off and who never get any better as the season progresses. It is the teams who fall in between that group who usually end up battling it out for the Wild Card spots in their respective conferences. The problem that many of those teams have is maintaining a high level of consistency throughout the season. They will have periods where they are really good followed by a stretch of games where winning looks like and impossible task. This can be frustrating for fans and bettors, but it is also why there is so much parity in the league. One of the most frustrating of those teams this season is the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are once again back on a losing skid and in danger of dropping back into the Wild Card. They will have a tough one on Tuesday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa is favored by 1 ½ on the road, with the goal total set at 6 ½.
When: Tuesday, March 10 at 7 PM EST
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
NHL Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning
After going on an incredible run of form that saw them move up to second in the Atlantic Division, the Tampa Bay Lightning have once again cooled off in the past couple of weeks. They are coming into this game with a 4-5-1 record in their last 10 games, a run that has seen the fall 6 points off the pace being set by the Boston Bruins at the top of the division. While things have not been great for the Lightning of late, they still have a very good record this season, going 43-20-6 and accumulating 92 points. They have been equally as good on the road as they have been at home, going 21-10-3 away from home, which is just 1 win shy of the 22 that they have in their own building. Tampa is 13-22 ATS in road games this season.
Why bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs
To say that the Maple Leafs have been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride this season is perhaps putting things a little mildly. They made a coaching change earlier in the season, but that move has not really had the desired effect, as they have struggled to really get anything going on a long-term basis. They have had winning spells, but those are usually followed by losses, which is where they are now. Toronto has lost 3 in a row ahead of this one and are now 4-5-1 in their last 10. They remain in 3rd in the Atlantic, although just a single point up on the Florida Panthers. The scary thing for the Leafs is that if they lose that 3rd place spot, they could drop below the playoff line, as one of the teams in the Wild Card has more points than them.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
These two have met twice already this season, with the road team winning each of those games. That is a trend that I think we will see get broken this evening, as I like the Lightning to win on home ice.
Toronto Maple Leafs 2 Tampa Bay Lightning 4