Lightning vs Maple Leafs Betting & Picks (Dec. 20): Will Tampa Bay’s Winning Ways Live On?

Devon Platana

The 2022-23 NHL season continues on Tuesday, Dec. 20 with another slate of exciting matchups. One bout that fans won’t want to miss is a clash between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. They’re two of the top three teams in the Atlantic Division and always bring their best whenever they collide, meaning this Lightning vs Maple Leafs showdown has the potential to be the game of the night.

Nobody has been able to stop the Lightning lately, proven by their five-game winning streak. Tampa Bay has been blowing teams out left and right lately, including a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in their most recent outing on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs enter this contest after having lost each of their last two games. They suffered a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals over the weekend, so perhaps a return home is exactly what they need to get back on track.

As with most notable matchups, there are plenty of betting opportunities in this Lightning vs Maple Leafs tilt. Here’s a look at FanDuel Sportsbook’s latest odds for the games, as well as a prediction and the best bet to make, courtesy of Betting News.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs Matchup Information and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: Tampa Bay Lightning (20-9-1, 8-5-0 Away) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (19-7-6, 11-2-3 Home)
  • Venue & Location: Scotiabank Arena (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Date: Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022
  • Game Time: 7 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Lightning vs Maple Leafs Info: ESPN+

Lightning vs Maple Leafs Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel as of Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 8:14 a.m. ET. Odds from other top online sportsbooks may also be mentioned in this article.

Spread

  • Tampa Bay Lightning +1.5 (-215)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5 (+172)

Over/Under

  • Over 6 Goals (-122)
  • Under 6 Goals (+100)

Moneyline

  • Tampa Bay Lightning +115
  • Toronto Maple Leafs -138

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Trends

  • Tampa Bay is 13-3 straight up in its last 16 games against the Atlantic Division.
  • Toronto is 5-1 straight up in its last six home games.
  • The total has hit the over in six of Tampa Bay’s last seven games against Toronto.
  • The total has hit the over in 13 of Toronto’s last 18 games played in December.

Lightning vs Maple Leafs Prediction and Picks

Lightning vs Maple Leafs Prediction: Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3

Lightning vs Maple Leafs Picks: Toronto ML (Best Value: -138 at FanDuel) & Over 6 Goals (Best Value: -122 at FanDuel)

As previously mentioned, the Lightning are one of the hottest teams in the league. Opponents haven’t even come close to beating them during their current run, proven by their outscoring the competition 24-7 over that stretch.

Unsurprisingly Nikita Kucherov has been his team’s top contributor over the last five games, racking up 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in that span. Meanwhile, Brandon Hagel and Brayden Point both have five goals in as many games, leading all Tampa Bay players.

On top of the high-flying offense, the Lightning have also been getting solid play between the pipes. Andrei Vasilevskiy is 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average (GAA) and .953 save percentage (SV%) in his last three starts. Meanwhile, backup goaltender Brian Elliott has won his last two starters, tallying a 1.51 GAA and .951 SV%.

Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs haven’t gotten the best play from their goaltending duo. Ilya Samsonov just allowed five goals on 28 shots to the Capitals while Matt Murray surrendered a pair of goals on 19 shots to the New York Rangers in the game before that. With how good the Lightning offense has looked lately, it’s clear that the Leafs need their goalies to make key stops if they hope to win tonight.

Can the Maple Leafs end the Lightning’s winning ways at five games tonight?

Something that could motivate the Maple Leafs tonight is revenge. They already lost 4-3 to the Lightning in overtime earlier this month, so tonight offers an opportunity for some payback. Fortunately for the home team, Toronto has won four of its last seven home games against Tampa Bay. Even though that isn’t complete domination, it shows that the former can get the job done.

At the end of the day, I do think that the Maple Leafs are too good to lose three games in a row. They’re also an impressive 11-2-3 at home and have won four straight games at home, whereas the Lightning are just 8-5-0 on the road.

It’s going to be a back-and-forth game (as usual), but the likes of Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitchell Marner will step up when the Leafs need them the most. After all, this is the type of statement game that Toronto can’t afford to lose.

I don’t think that Toronto will cover the 1.5-goal spread, so taking the team outright on the moneyline makes the most sense. I also recommend backing the over on the 6-goal total. After all, the total has gone over in six of the last seven Lightning vs Maple Leafs matchups, finishing with seven or more goals in all but one of those occasions.

With how many goals the Lightning have put up lately and this being a must-win game for the Maple Leafs, expect scoring to happen early and often.

Other Tampa Bay vs Toronto Resources

Devon Platana
Devon Platana