Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs Picks and Predictions: Expect More Goals to Come Tonight

Some uncertainties and a high moneyline price for the Maple Leafs make this game a tough one to judge. Nevertheless, our preview is expecting more goals to come in our Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs picks and predictions.

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2021 10:42 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Cole Sillinger Columbus Blue Jackets NHL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to regroup after a 0-2 SU road trip that has also left them shorthanded on the ice. They’ll host a Columbus Blue Jackets team that just snapped a four-game losing streak and sits ninth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Can the Leafs overcome a war of a game versus the Jets and use it as motivation back at home? Can the Blue Jackets hold down a Leafs’ offense despite giving up 22 goals in their last five games? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs.

Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Toronto opened at -280 on the moneyline with a total of 6 and leaning to the Under. Toronto’s two biggest games favored have been at home versus Ottawa (-270 on Oct. 16) and at home versus Detroit (-299 on Oct. 30). Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until puck drop and be sure to check out the full NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs predictions

Predictions made on 12/07/2021 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs game info

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN4

Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs betting preview

Injuries

Blue Jackets: Patrick Laine F (Out), Joonas Korpisalo G (Out).
Maple Leafs: Mitch Marner F (Questionable), Jason Spezza (Questionable), Rasmus Sandin D (Out), Ilya Mikheyev F (Out), Petr Mrazek G (Out).

Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs head-to-head record (since 2016)

Blue Jackets: 7-3 SU, 28 goals for.
Maple Leafs: 3-7 SU, 22 goals for.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 5-1 in the Blue Jackets’ last six vs. Eastern Conference. Find more NHL betting trends for Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs.

Blue Jackets vs Maple Leafs picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Leafs are coming off a poorly officiated game in Winnipeg (looking at you Brad Meier) that saw things get out of hand thanks to a lack of calls on the ice. In the aftermath of the 6-3 loss, the Buds will be without defenseman Rasmus Sandin (2-3 weeks) and possibly Jason Spezza (potential suspension). This is on top of Mitch Marner’s potential absence after the star winger missed both games on the road trip. Toronto is surprisingly deep this season and should be able to fill the holes but is -290 a little heavy for a team coming off an emotional road trip?

The Blue Jackets are also dealing with some injuries as Patrick Laine has been out since early November with an oblique strain and backup Joonas Korpisolo is sidelined as well. This means the Leafs will more than likely see Elvis Merzlikins in net Tuesday night. Over the last 30 days, the BJs No. 1 netminder is 5-3 SU with a 3.33 goals-against average to go along with a .905 save percentage. He started out hot to begin the year but the Jackets are now a Bottom-10 team in goals against (3.26/game).

Goals against have been a major issue for Brad Larsen’s group. Columbus has given up at least three goals in five straight games and in every one of its 11 road games. On the season, only one other team is allowing more goals per game on the road than the Jackets at an even 4.00 per contest. 

The scary thing for the Blue Jackets is that they have the league’s No. 9 penalty kill which means this club is getting killed at even strength. Only the expansion Kraken have given up more 5-on-5 goals per game than Columbus who also ranks 25th in Fenwick% and benefit from the league’s seventh-best shooting percentage.

There is no surprise that with the Toronto ML price that they have an advantage in nearly every aspect: goaltending, face-offs, special teams (power play), 5-on-5 for and against and coaching. The potential missing pieces are worrisome but with a hot Auston Matthews (six-game scoring streak) and a BJs team that struggles to keep the puck out, the Leafs should get theirs.

However, at -290 on the ML and -110 for the puck line, there aren’t a ton of expected value players here. The Leafs should win but a 75% implied probability is a little high with all the potential missing players. 

It's not a play for us, but if we have to take a side, it's the Blue Jackets here at this price with all the uncertainties and moving pieces for the Buds. The Lightning are also on deck for Thursday so there is a chance that Toronto could be looking ahead.

Prediction: Blue Jackets ML (+215)

After opening the season as one of the best Under teams in hockey, Toronto has hit the Over in five of its last six. The offense is scoring 4.83 goals per game over that stretch and even without Mitch Marner in the lineup for the recent road trip, Toronto still managed to score three goals in each game. Facing one of the most generous teams in the league, Toronto could push this total up themselves, especially if they come out motivated after a heated loss to the Jets.

Columbus goalie, Elvis Merzlikins, is 7-2 O/U in his last nine starts and has given up three or more goals in six of his last eight starts. The Blue Jackets give up a ton of shots per game (34.4 T31st) and even if Merzlikins is on, Columbus gives up way too many chances to keep Toronto off the board.

Offensively, Columbus ranks in the Top 10 of the league in terms of goals per game (3.22 per game). They are one of four teams that average more than three goals for and against per game. They’ll face Jack Campbell who has been the Leafs’ best player to date but is coming off a pair of Over games where he allowed three goals in each. With the Leafs having to juggle up the lines once again, it could hurt the Leafs defensively.

Losing Marner on the penalty kill has also been a problem for Tuesday's home team as the Leafs allowed four power-play goals without the winger. 

Even with both teams potentially missing some skilled players, we like the Over to keep clicking for Toronto as the offense is rolling and Matthews is on a mission. We could also possibly see some more penalties called after the prison-rules game that Toronto just finished in Winnipeg.

Prediction: Over 6 (+100)

The Leafs haven’t been held to under three goals in seven straight games as the 5-on-5 goals are raining after a low shooting percentage to start the season. Possibly missing Marner for a third straight game shouldn’t have Over backers worried as the Leafs gave up 10 total goals in the two games he was away including four on the power play where Marner is a big part of the kill. They also scored four PP goals without Marner.

Columbus is one of the better Over teams in the league and is coming off a six-goal outing versus the Sharks. We can expect goals at both even strength and on the power play and the Columbus offense possibly gets to face the Leafs at the most opportunistic time. The Toronto Under train has been halted.

Pick: Over 6 (+100)

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