Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews(34) gets his second goal of the game on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck(37) during an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Toronto, Canada. (AP Photo/Peter Power)
- There are six NHL games on the ice on Wednesday, March 31st
- Robert Duff split his Thursday picks, leaving his NHL record at 21-13 (+5.64 units won)
- The Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets clash in a showdown between the top two teams in the North Division
When it comes to the NHL picks, there’s not much to choose between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets. The standings are showing the Maple Leafs with a slim one-point lead over the Jets atop the North Division. The Leafs are -141 favorites against the Jets in the March 31st NHL odds.
In head-to-head meetings, the margins are equally razor thin. Winnipeg has claimed five points from four meetings, while Toronto has collected four points. Two of the games were determined by one-goal margins. One contest required overtime in order to decide the victor.
Even though the locale for their Wednesday, March 31st game is Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place for the first time this season, it’s still the Leafs who are being offered as the -141 favorites. Toronto is a dismal 1-9 against the spread over the past 10 games, while Winnipeg is 7-3.
There are no such things as thin margins where the Buffalo Sabres are concerned. Buffalo is 0-15-3 straight up over the past 18 games.
In their last game, the Sabres collapsed, blowing a 3-0 third-period lead and losing 4-3 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers. As those clubs meet again on Wednesday, could this finally be the night that the frustration ends for Buffalo?
Oddsmakers are skeptical. Philly is the -195 chalk in this game.
March 31st NHL Odds
|Philadelphia Flyers||-190||-1.5 (+130)||O 6.0 (-107)|
|Buffalo Sabres||+163||+1.5 (-157)||U 6.0 (-114)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-137||-1.5 (+185)||O 6.5 (+102)|
|Winnipeg Jets||+118||+1.5 (-225)||U 6.5 (-122)|
|Arizona Coyotes||+230||+1.5 (-108)||O 5.5 (-120)|
|Colorado Avalanche||-278||-1.5 (-110)||U 5.5 (-103)|
|Los Angeles Kings||+180||+1.5 (-143)||O 5.5 (-112)|
|Vegas Golden Knights||-215||-1.5 (+120)||U 5.5 (-109)|
|Minnesota Wild||-155||-1.5 (+163)||O 5.5 (-124)|
|San Jose Sharks||+132||+1.5 (-200)||U 5.5 (+102)|
|Calgary Flames||-122||-1.5 (+200)||O 5.5 (-122)|
|Vancouver Canucks||+105||+1.5 (-245)||U 5.5 (+100)|
Odds as of March 30th at DraftKings
Expect Jets to Soar
The Leafs are facing issues with the most important position on the ice. Their goaltending continues to be a question mark.
Fredrik Andersen, their #1 choice between the pipes, is enduring a rough season. He’s 45th in the NHL in goals-against average (2.91) and 54th in save percentage (.897). Currently, he’s also out with an injury.
Auston Matthews (@MapleLeafs) and Mikko Rantanen (@Avalanche) each found the back of the net on Monday to continue their pursuit of their first career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.#NHLStats: https://t.co/UQ1co6ZFUp pic.twitter.com/FKKN79BKHc
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 30, 2021
When backup Jack Campbell plays, he excels. Campbell’s 1.48 GAA and .945 save percentage are both #2 among NHL goaltenders. He’s also a perfect 6-0 in terms of decisions. However, Campbell’s also got a leg ailment that leaves the Leafs wary of presenting him with a heavy workload. Third-stringer Michael Hutchinson was in the pipes for Monday’s 3-2 OT loss to Edmonton.
Winnipeg just completed 14 games in 26 days stretch that included a dozen road games. The Jets went 8-5-1 through his rugged test. They’ve picked up eight standings points on the leading Leafs since March 3rd.
#NHLJets do it again, regrouping from a regulation loss with another victory, this one a 5-1 triumph over the #Flames to move to 22-12-2 on the season, leapfrogging the #Oilers into 2nd place in the North Division, one point behind the @MapleLeafs – Jets and Leafs meet Wednesday
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebesWorld) March 30, 2021
Goaltending isn’t a worry in Winnipeg. Vezina Trophy holder Connor Hellebuyck has stopped 114 of 118 shots (.966 save percentage) over his past four games.
Both the Jets and Leafs average 3.31 goals per game. The over on the total of six goals looks like a solid play.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets (+118), 1 unit
Sabres Rattling Flyers
Buffalo’s losing skid is the longest suffered by an NHL team in 17 years. The Sabres haven’t won since Feb. 23rd. They’re last in the NHL in goals (2.03 per game) and in goal differential (minus-51).
Coming off of last night’s tough loss, the team looks ahead to tomorrow’s rematch against the Flyers. pic.twitter.com/m2k50UiG1D
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 30, 2021
Philly is 4-6-1 over the past 11 games. Goalie Carter Hart will be a healthy scratch for this game. Coach Alain Vigneault is unhappy with Hart’s practice habits. The Flyers placed defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers.
Pick: Buffalo Sabres (+163), 1 unit
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.