NHL Picks: Maple Leafs Restart 2021-22 Season with Statement vs. Blue Jackets

NHL Picks: Maple Leafs Restart 2021-22 Season with Statement vs. Blue Jackets

Check out our best NHL bets ahead of Monday’s regular-season action following the league’s brief hiatus.

 

All the best betting sites for the NHL were thrown for a whirl recently when a surge in COVID-19 cases forced the league to shut down through Christmas. It isn't yet clear whether this hiatus—or the decision to prevent players from participating in the Olympics—will improve circumstances, but hockey will return on Monday, December 27

Not only that, but the league's restart will include 30 total teams in action, which means 15 combined games. And among other hockey predictions, our latest NHL picks have the Toronto Maple Leafs restarting the 2021-22 season with a bang against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Let's go ahead and take a look at the latest NHL betting odds for Monday's loaded slate:

FavoriteBetOnlineBetOnlineUnderdog
Carolina Hurricanes-163+138Florida Panthers
Boston Bruins-174+125Pittsburgh Penguins
Toronto Maple Leafs-175+115Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Islanders-165+119Buffalo Sabres
Washington Capitals-235+233Ottawa Senators
New York Rangers-220+213Detroit Red Wings
St. Louis Blues-223+220New Jersey Devils
Dallas Stars-165+115Nashville Predators
Winnipeg Jets-115-105Minnesota Wild
Los Angeles Kings-105-105Phoenix Coyotes
Anaheim Ducks-185+135San Jose Sharks
Calgary Flames-153+125Edmonton Oilers
Vegas Golden Knights-163+118Colorado Avalanche
Vancouver Canucks-200+150Seattle Kraken

Though NHL betting lines typically aren't available this far in advance, the absence of any games being played between now and December 27 have allowed us to take stock of matchups further into the future. However, you will still want to double-check all NHL odds since they are subject to shift right up until the opening faceoff. Please note our odds on the NHL are accurate as of Thursday, December 23 and will warrant a refresh if you're making NHL betting picks anytime thereafter.

As you wait for league to fire it back up, we also recommend perusing our in-depth reviews of the top online sportsbooks. They will no doubt help you suss out the best NHL betting sites.

Maple Leafs Staking Claim to 2022 Stanley Cup

It isn't just the game-to-game cadence of the 2021-22 regular season that's being turned upside down. Anyone looking at NHL betting odds on the 2022 Stanley Cup knows these NHL futures have been swinging wildly and often.

And yet, through it all, the Maple Leafs have remained staples. They have successfully navigated sudden absences and an ever-changing contender field to earn the second most points of any team on the season. 

Despite this, though, they enter the NHL's restart with fringe-underdog odds. Is that a mistake? Or is it something worth looking into?

Toronto Throws a Party vs. Columbus

If the Maple Leafs are any less of an attractive Stanley Cup bet, it will not show against the Blue Jackets.

Columbus has struggled all year to tamp down offenses. They allow opponents to score on roughly 22 percent of their power plays and are allowing 3.36 goals per game on the year. 

This matchup should be child's play for Toronto, which has excelled at winning the games they're supposed to win. To wit: They have tallied points in 70 percent of all their contests, a ratio currently exceeded only by the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.

OSB Prediction: Toronto Maple Leafs (-175)

Toronto Maple Leafs To beat the Columbus Blue Jackets
-175
BetOnline

Colorado is Undervalued Against Vegas

The Avalanche are coming off a long break and playing on the road. And the Golden Knights are on a relative tear in recent weeks. We get it.

Still, Colorado has the NHL's best offense at 4.22 goals per game and is scoring on nearly 25 percent of their power plays. Vegas, meanwhile, has one of the league's lowest save percentages and has struggled to kill penalty stints.

We're calling for an upset.

OSB Prediction: Colorado Avalanche (+118)

Colorado Avalanche To beat the Vegas Golden Knights
+118
BetOnline

Edmonton will Prove They're with Win Over Calgary

The Oilers started to show signs they're getting their act together before the hiatus. Bettors still cannot trust their defense in between the posts, but the offense continues to be among the league's most incandescent.

Of course, the Flames are experts at devolving games into defensive slogs. Only the Hurricanes allow fewer goals per game. But even with this in mind, Edmonton has the requisite number of crafty puck-handlers to take this one.

OSB Prediction: Edmonton Oilers (+125)

Edmonton Oilers To beat the Calgary Flames
+125
BetOnline

New York Should Thrash Detroit

Good luck scoring on the Rangers defense if you're an above-average offensive team. Their goalies are saving 92 percent of the shots that come their way, and New York's killing nearly 85 percent of its penalty minutes, one of the five highest marks in the league.

For a team like Detroit? Forget it. They don't have the offense or veteran star power to hang with this Rangers group.

OSB Prediction: New York Rangers (-220)

New York Rangers To beat the Detroit Red Wings
-220
BetOnline

Anaheim Edges Out San Jose

San Jose's defense is built to pull off upsets—and it has on many occasions this season. But the offense isn't trustworthy enough to forecast a win over Anaheim.

Not only are the Ducks starting to find their groove in transition, but equally important, the Sharks' attack is overwhelmingly lackluster. They don't do a good job generating high-percentage looks at even strength or during power plays, and their 8.9 shooting percentage is bottom of the barrel.

OSB Prediction: Anaheim Ducks (-185)

Anaheim Ducks To beat the San Jose Sharks
-185
BetOnline

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NHL betting: