NHL Picks

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick & Preview – Dec 14, 2023

The 2023-24 NHL season continues to heat up as the season moves along, and there are some interesting matchups slated for Thursday night. One of those games will feature the Columbus Blue Jackets visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs for a showdown between Eastern Conference teams. 

Columbus is coming into this game with just 23 points on the year, and that currently has them in last place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets have just one win in their last four games, and at some point this team has to figure some things out. 

Toronto has racked up 35 points on the year, and they are sitting in third place in the tough Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs have picked up two points in three of their last four games, and that is going to be a major key moving forward. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the moneyline betting favorites in this game at -275 over the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Columbus Can’t Get Stops

The Columbus Blue Jackets are coming into this game allowing 3.50 goals per game, and that just won’t get the job done. Columbus has actually killed off 86 percent of their penalties, but they just can’t play well at even strength. 

Injuries have impacted this team at defenseman and goaltending, but the forwards turn the puck over way too much. Stick handling has been an issue all season, and that’s why the Blue Jackets average less than three goals per game. 

Boone Jenner has been playing well for the Blue Jackets as he has scored 13 goals to set the tone for the Blue Jackets. 

Maple Leafs Flowing on Offense

The Toronto Maple Leafs are scoring 3.46 goals per game this season, and they just have so many weapons on offense. Toronto has scored on the power play 25 percent of the time, and they are dangerous when a team takes a penalty. 

Auston Matthews is having a monster season for this team as he has scored 21 goals and dished out 11 assists. Toronto always seems to be on the attack with the puck, and they make things hard on their opponents. 

The Maple Leafs are giving up 3.19 goals per game on the other end of the ice, and that is something that simply must improve. It likely won’t be an issue in this game, but the Maple Leafs can’t expect to outscore everyone. 

Maple Leafs Blow Out Blue Jackets

Columbus has struggled on both ends of the ice this season, and the lack of defense will create a major issue in this one. The Blue Jackets are going to give up a ton of goals in this one, and they don’t have the offense to get those back. 

Toronto has not been taking care of the puck well this season, but they are still able to win games thanks to that offense. The Maple Leafs should have another great offensive performance in this one against a shaky Blue Jackets team. 

Bet the Toronto Maple Leafs at -1.5 on the puck line as they are going to pick up a big win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. 

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