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Maple Leafs vs. Panthers, 7:00 ET
The Coyotes yesterday were a +360 dog and I told you to bet them. Did it hit? No. Did they come close? Yes. Ultimately, that means nothing as we don’t make any money. However, I’ll take a small pat on the back from myself that I at least analyzed the game correctly, which is what you should always be trying for, and knew there was value in the Coyotes. Now I have a game that is not a dog, but still has good value.
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit in second place in the Atlantic Division and are currently 14 points ahead of the Panthers in the standings. They’ve had a really nice season and are one of the best of a handful of teams this year. They have not played very good hockey lately though as they’ve lost three of their past five games. One of those wins also came in a 5-4 shootout. They’ve been struggling to find a rhythm lately. They did play the Panthers once this season, a home game, and they won 5-4 in overtime. Tonight, I expect them to have Matt Murray in the net and he’s been pretty average on the season with a 13-7-2 record and 2.96 goals against per game average. The Maple Leafs are just 2-2 over his last four starts and he has allowed four goals in all four of those games. In fact, he didn’t have a February start, but his last six games he has allowed four goals in all of them. When he faced the Panthers earlier in the year he allowed four goals in roughly 22 minutes of ice time. He faced eight attempts and allowed four to go past him.
The Panthers are playing some of the best hockey of their season right now. It was necessary for them to get in gear in order to try and grab a playoff spot. They are winners of six of their past eight games and are putting up some very high goal totals each game. Over their last eight games, they’ve scored 35 goals, an average of over four goals per game. They did just take a quick road trip in between a seven-game homestand and this current two-game one. They should have their best goalie, Segei Bobrovsky in the crease tonight. The Panthers have relied quite a bit on Bobrovsky lately and are 6-2 in his March starts. He’s only allowed 21 goals over his past eight games and that is good for less than three goals per game. He did face the Maple Leafs in the loss I already discussed. It wasn’t a pretty game for Bobrovsky as he allowed the five goals and couldn’t capitalize on the great work he was getting from his offense.
If we are looking at current form, the Panthers are playing better. If we look at who is playing at home tonight, the Panthers are. The rest is equal, so no edge there either side. If we consider who has the better goalie tonight, I’d say it is the Panthers. I think everything points to Florida in this one and am taking them at -135. Shop around you might be able to find a lower number.
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