Free NHL Hockey Prediction: Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Odds
Looking for Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning free hockey plays & NHL Odds? NHL betting sees the Maple Leafs taking on the Lightning on Thursday December 29th at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions.
(14-12-7) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (17-15-3)
Date: Thursday December 29th
Time: 7:00PM EST
Venue: Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Off
NHL Hockey Puck Line Odds: Tampa -182
NHL Betting Total: 5.5
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The Atlantic Division Maple Leafs stay on the road and stay in Florida after Wednesday’s matchup against the Panthers, and head down the road to Tampa to take on the Lightning.
The Lightning are coming off a home game against the Montreal Canadiens and will look to dispatch another high-powered Canadian offense at home.
Toronto Maple Leafs
If Toronto’s offense continues to play at a fast, high-skilled pace, there is still a good shot that the team can find its way into the playoffs. Despite a less than stellar record to date, the Maple Leafs are not necessarily a bad team and have the pieces the be great. With a nucleus of young, quick, offensive-minded talent, the Leafs have a lot of potential.
Toronto has looked much better on both sides of the ice in the last five games. At 3-1-1, Toronto has rediscovered the offense that made the team so fun to watch early on in the season.
Rookie Auston Matthews continues his great season. He has 16 goals and 10 assists on the year, including three and one in his last five games. James Van Riemsdyk has shined this season as well. On the year, he has 13 goals and 11 assists.
Toronto has the talent on offense but the defense leaves a lot to be desired. Once some of these rookie forwards get used to playing a two-way game at the NHL level, the Leafs could be scary. For now, they just need to step up on both sides of the ice and take care of the Lightning.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay is having terrible luck with injuries this season and it’s showing in their game-to-game play. At 4-5-2 in the month of December, the Lightning are lucky they play in one of the worst divisions in the NHL. If they were in the Metropolitan or Central Division, their season could be over.
Despite everything, the Lightning are in the hunt and in 4th place in the Atlantic. But without Stamkos, and now Nikita Kucherov, Jonathan Drouin, and Ben Bishop, it’s going to be a tall order to win any game.
Center Tyler Johnson must be in top-line form, a role that has been tough for him since taking the reins after Stamkos’ injury. He has three points (1G, 2A) in his last five games.
Left winger Alex Killorn will need to step up as well. He also has three points (1G, 2A) in his last five games. Between Johnson and Killorn, they are the best offensive weapons Tampa has on the ice right now and they’ll definitely miss Kucherov if he isn’t active for Thursday.
NHL Betting Trends:
- The UNDER is 4-1 in Toronto’s last five games
- The Total has gone OVER in five of last seven Tampa games at home
Free Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Hockey Prediction:
Toronto has looked better recently, regaining some consistency on offense that made them so intriguing in the first month of the season. With so many injuries nagging the Lightning, it will be hard to put anything together on offense. Toronto gets the W.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick:
NHL Free Score Prediction: Toronto 3 – Tampa Bay 2
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