Maple Leafs vs Blue Jackets Prediction - NHL Picks 12/29/23

Columbus Blue Jackets (11-18-7) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (17-9-6)

Game Info: Friday, December 29, 2023 at 7:00 pm (Nationwide Arena)

Betting Odds: Columbus Blue Jackets +180 / Toronto Maple Leafs -220 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Toronto has lost three of their last four games, while Columbus is on a three game losing streak. Let’s take a look at the betting matchup and the Maple Leafs vs Blue Jackets prediction.

Maple Leafs Preview

The Toronto Maple Leafs are 17-9-6 this year after they lost to Ottawa by a score of 4-2 in their last game. Toronto led 2-0 after the first period, but they allowed the last four goals for the loss. The Maple Leafs out shot Ottawa by a total of 36-30 and went 0-3 on the power play in the game. Toronto defeated Columbus by a score of 4-1 in the game prior to Ottawa, but lost to the Sabres and Rangers before that. The Maple Leafs are scoring 3.53 goals per game and they are allowing 3.38 goals against per game, while going 25.5% on the power play and 79.4% on the penalty kill. William Nylander has led Toronto with 16 goals, 30 assists, and 138 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for Toronto is Ilya Samsonov, who is 5-2-5 this year with a 3.79 goals against average and a .871 save percentage. 

Blue Jackets Preview

The Columbus Blue Jackets are 11-18-7 this season after they lost to New Jersey in overtime by a score of 4-3 in their last game. Columbus led 3-2 late in the third, but allowed New Jersey to force overtime, where the Devils were able to get the win. The Blue Jackets were out shot by a total of 35-29 and went 0-3 on the power play in the game. Columbus has also lost to Toronto and Washington during this three game losing streak. The Blue Jackets are scoring 3.08 goals per game and they are allowing 3.64 goals against per game, while going 14.9% on the power play and 82% on the penalty kill. Johnny Gaudreau has six goals, 16 assists, and 75 shots on goal for the Blue Jackets this year. The projected starting goalie for Columbus is Elvis Merzlikins, who is 7-8-5 this season with a 3.20 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. 

Columbus Blue Jackets Team Facts

  • The Blue Jackets have lost each of their last nine night games after coming off overtime.
  • The Blue Jackets have failed to cover the puck line in each of their last seven night games at Nationwide Arena after coming off overtime.
  • The Blue Jackets have lost the third period in each of their last eight games as underdogs after coming off overtime.
  • The 'Over 1.5 Goals Period 2' market has hit in nine of the Blue Jackets' last 10 night games at Nationwide Arena.

Toronto Maple Leafs Team Facts

  • The underdogs have won six of the Maple Leafs' last eight games.
  • The Maple Leafs have failed to cover the puck line in each of their last six games against opponents on a losing streak.
  • The favorites have won the first period in 13 of the Maple Leafs' last 14 games at Nationwide Arena.
  • The 'Over 1.5 Goals Period 2' market has hit in each of the Maple Leafs' last 10 games as favorites.

Columbus Blue Jackets Player Prop Facts

  • Yegor Chinakhov has scored at least one goal in four of the Blue Jackets' last five games at Nationwide Arena.
  • Yegor Chinakhov has recorded at least one point in seven of the Blue Jackets' last eight games as underdogs.
  • Zach Werenski has recorded at least one assist in five of the Blue Jackets' last six games as underdogs against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • Kent Johnson has scored two goals against the Maple Leafs this season - most against any opponent.

Toronto Maple Leafs Player Prop Facts

  • Auston Matthews has scored at least one goal in each of his last six appearances with the Maple Leafs as favorites against the Blue Jackets.
  • John Tavares has recorded at least one point in seven of the Maple Leafs' last eight games against Metropolitan Division opponents.
  • William Nylander has recorded at least one assist in each of his last eight appearances against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • Auston Matthews ranks 1st in the league for multi-goal games (10) this season.

Matchup/League Facts

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets rank 32nd in the league for Period 3 goals allowed per game this season (1.67).
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of only two teams to lose 15+ games when tied or leading after Period 1 this season.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of only four teams to win a game when trailing by 2 or more goals after Period 1 this season.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of only five teams to win 5+ games when trailing after Period 1 this season.

Maple Leafs vs Blue Jackets Betting Prediction

Toronto comes into this game after losing three of their last four games and they will be on the road for this matchup. The Maple Leafs have allowed 18 goals in their last three losses, but have a chance to bounce back against a bad Columbus team here. The Blue Jackets are only 7-10-3 at home and just lost to Toronto at home by a score of 4-1 on December 23rd. I know the Maple Leafs just beat Columbus, but I am taking the Blue Jackets at home here. 

David’s Pick Blue Jackets ML

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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