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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Florida Panthers - 12/20/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Florida Panthers (13-13-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (22-10-2)
Date & Time Thursday December 20, 2018, 7:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -215 / Florida Panthers +175 --- Over/Under: 6.5
TV Channel
FS-Florida
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NHL | Florida Panthers (13-13-6) at Toronto Maple Leafs (22-10-2)
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs meet in NHL action from Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night.

The Florida Panthers will look to build on back-to-back wins after a 5-2 win over Buffalo in their last outing. Buffalo owned a 1-0 lead after the 1st period before Troy Brouwer tied the game for the Panthers just before the midway point of the 2nd period. The tie lasted all of 1:51 however, as Buffalo re-took the lead at 2-1 at the end of 40 minutes of play. The Panthers exploded in the 3rd for 3 goals in a span of 3:44 to take a 4-2 lead thanks to Aleksander Barkov, Evgenii Dadonov and Frank Vatrano before Dadonov added an empty netter to seal the win for Florida in the victory. Roberto Luongo got the win to improve to 7-5-1 this season after stopping 30 of 32 shots faced in the winning effort.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to build on a 7-2 beatdown of the New Jersey Devils in their last outing. Toronto jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to goals from John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau spread out 7:37 apart before Jersey got on the board by the end of the 1st. Mitch Marner and Morgan Reilly scored in the 2nd to give Toronto a 4-1 lead after the second frame, followed by a pair of goals from Tyler Ennis late in the 3rd to give Toronto 7 on the night. Frederik Andersen got the win to improve to 18-9-1 this season after stopping 27 of the 29 shots faced in the winning effort.

Florida is 1-4 in their last 5 road games and 7-17 in their last 24 road games against a team with a winning home record while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 games overall. Toronto is 36-16 in their last 52 home games and 14-6 in their last 20 games following a win while the over is 8-2 in their last 10 games overall. The home team is 7-0 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams and Florida is 0-5 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams in Toronto.

The last 6 meetings between these two teams have been decided by a single goal each time, so the confidence in backing Toronto on the puck line diminishes. And we are really getting no value in siding with Toronto here, so I’m going to side with the over. Both teams have shown lately that they can find the back of the net and I think we could see another exciting affair like the last meeting between these two just a week ago, so I’ll back the over in this spot even if the number is rather high.

Pick:
Over 6.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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