NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Maple Leafs vs. Oilers (March 1)

NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Maple Leafs vs. Oilers (March 1) article feature image

Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Auston Matthews

  • Two of the top teams in Canada meet on Wednesday night when the Edmonton Oilers host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • Both teams have already been active ahead of Friday's trade deadline, so which team will come out on top in their first meeting of the season?
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Maple Leafs vs. Oilers Odds

Maple Leafs Odds-128
Oilers Odds+106
Over/Under6.5 (-130/+100)
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The tradewinds have kicked up to gale force ahead of Friday's 2023 NHL deadline at 3 p.m. ET. On Tuesday, both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers were in the eye of the storm.

Here's the latest on arguably Canada's two best hopes to break the nation's Stanley Cup curse, ahead of their meeting on Wednesday at Rogers Place.

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Toronto Maple Leafs

Sitting fourth overall in the NHL standings heading into Tuesday's games, the Toronto Maple Leafs seem determined to finally snap their own playoff jinx. They haven't advanced past the first round since 2004.

The Leafs have been strong all season and are playing well right now. They're on a three-game winning streak and cruised to a 5-1 win in Seattle on Sunday as they kicked off their current four-game road trip.

With Matt Murray on the injured list, Ilya Samsonov has been carrying the load in net, and playing very well. The 26-year-old is up to 26-7-2 for the year, with 12.7 goals saved above expected.

The Leafs are heading into a back-to-back set, playing in Edmonton on Wednesday and in Calgary on Thursday. If prospect Joseph Woll gets the nod to appear in his seventh career NHL game, it's more likely to come against a weaker Flames team.

Now, the trades. If you haven't seen the Leafs in awhile, you might not recognize them.

It's not yet clear which of the latest acquisitions will be ready to suit up on Wednesday night, but GM Kyle Dubas acquired defensemen Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson on Tuesday. Schenn has been back in Vancouver for about a week, awaiting his trade and also the arrival of his third child: his wife is due this Friday.

On Monday, Dubas picked up defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Sam Lafferty from the Chicago Blackhawks. They made it to Seattle by Monday night to join their new teammates for a concert, then practiced on Tuesday, so they'll probably be ready to draw in. Toronto's trade action began when Ryan O'Reilly and Noel Acciari were acquired back on Feb. 17.

Leaving the Leafs on Tuesday: defenseman Rasmus Sandin and forward Pierre Engvall.

That's a lot of change. O'Reilly and Acciari have acclimated well but it remains to be seen if the same will be true for the other new acquisitions.

Edmonton Oilers

For the Edmonton Oilers, their recent chemistry was already a little bit off, even before GM Ken Holland completed a couple of deals on Tuesday.

First, he finally brought the Jesse Puljujarvi saga to an end when he dealt the 24-year-old to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a prospect.

Then, he pulled the trigger on a blockbuster, bringing in defenseman Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators.

Ekholm is big and mean. He's meant to shore up Edmonton's defensive game and provide some support for the goaltenders, and can also chip in a few points along the way. But the roster player the Oilers give up in the deal is Tyson Barrie. He has been the quarterback of their league-leading power play and was also an important locker-room presence who's very close to Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, of course, have had the Oilers on their backs all season and continue to sit 1-2 in the NHL scoring race. As well as Barrie, the two superstars have gotten good run support from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman this season, but the offense gets a bit thin from there on down the roster.

And after goaltender Jack Campbell went through a strong stretch of play in January, he's now struggling once again. Stuart Skinner has started three of Edmonton's last four games and was also called on for relief duty last Saturday, after Campbell gave up four goals on 14 shots to the Columbus Blue Jackets in just over one period of game action.

Maple Leafs vs. Oilers Pick

Wednesday's game will be the first of two between the Leafs and Oilers this season. They'll meet up again in Toronto on March 11, after the trade-deadline dust has fully settled.

But even with so many moving pieces, Toronto has kept its top six forwards and first power-play unit intact. The Leafs' offense has been powerful enough lately that it should be able to take advantage of Edmonton's rather porous defense on Wednesday, even if Ekholm does arrive in time to get into the lineup.

Of course, McDavid could make some noise offensively. But given the choice between a 6.5 Over at -130 and the Leafs on the moneyline at -128, it makes sense to support the high-rolling road dogs in this matchup.

Pick: Maple Leafs -140 or Better

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