Maple Leafs On Verge of Biggest NHL Betting Favorite Since 2005
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images. Pictured: Auston Matthews and John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs
At approximately noon ET on Tuesday, the Maple Leafs opened up about -400 against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight.
A full 24 hours later, by about 10 a.m. ET this morning, the Leafs were up to a -500 favorite.
You see where this is going.
As we currently sit, Toronto is up to a -605 favorite at home against the Blackhawks tonight.
One possible reason for the spike is Auston Matthews is back and playing tonight. Matthews hasn’t seen the ice since Jan. 25 and has 25 goals and 53 points in 47 games this year.
In the full Bet Labs database, which dates back to 2005, only three other teams have closed as a -600 favorite or higher – and all three came last season.
Two of three games last year had the Avalanche listed as the favorite, and two of the three games also had the Montreal Canadiens listed as the underdog.
All three games saw the favorite winning outright on the moneyline, with two of the games finishing with just a single-goal margin.
Interestingly enough, when you look at the recent history between the Blackhawks and Leafs, it would seem like a tight race. In 2021, the Leafs beat the Blackhawks by a single goal in both meetings, and in 2019 and 2020, the ‘Hawks beat the Leafs in all three meetings.
For the Maple Leafs to catch the Avalanche for the betting record, they will have to close above -702 tonight on the moneyline. If you look at the betting markets as of now, 82% of the moneyline tickets are on the Maple Leafs, with the handle actually on Chicago with such a high price.
The largest price to pull an upset since 2005 goes to the Penguins, who were +450 back in 2006 and beat the Hurricanes. The second-biggest upset goes to the Coyotes, who were +430 last season and beat the Wild.
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