NHL Odds, Preview & Prediction: Ducks vs. Maple Leafs (Jan. 25)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Auston Matthews.
- The Maple Leafs are heavy favorites on Wednesday night against the Ducks.
- While Toronto has elite talent in its attack, Anaheim has shown promise going forward of late.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and delivers his best bet for the game below.
Ducks vs. Maple Leafs Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-275|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
With some key bodies back in the lineup, Anaheim has bounced back after a dreadful stretch of play with back-to-back multi-goal wins over the Lightning and Bruins. The Ducks’ offense has come alive, scoring 10 goals against two very strong defensive teams.
On Wednesday night, Anaheim will be opposed by a very formidable offense in the form of a Toronto team that has produced the ninth-best goals scored per game rate. The Maple Leafs’ analytics suggest they should trend upward considerably from there.
Can we expect some fireworks in this one?
Healthy Ducks Finding Groove?
Two massive wins has quickly changed the mood around this Anaheim team, now finding itself with most of its key pieces back from injury.
Things had gotten pretty bad there for a stretch of four consecutive multi-goal losses, during which the offense was shut out by the Blackhawks and Lightning.
The Ducks are likely somewhere between what we saw over this last awful month and their dominant start to the season offensively. We can expect somewhat of an uptick as they settle back in with a lineup that’s very reliant on the likes of Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras to drive the play.
Defensively, Anaheim has been less than strong, ranking in the NHL’s bottom-third of expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) over its last eight contests.
It’s hard for me to see the Ducks controlling more of the puck here against the Leafs, but I could see them being able to generate some notable breakdowns and post a reasonable total.
The question may be how well they do in keeping Toronto’s strong offense in check. That means the play of John Gibson, who should draw the start here between the pipes, will be crucial. Gibson holds a +5.9 goals saved above expected (GSAx) rating with a .919 save percentage in 30 games this season.
Can the Leafs Attack Carry the Load?
Toronto enters this game with the league’s best all-situation expected goal share for the season, which is aided by a power play that has generated chances at an unbelievable rate this season.
Offensively, it’s easy to believe in this Leafs team. I think that we will see them trend upwards from their ninth-ranked goals per game mark moving forward with the talent on the roster while sitting -10.82 goals below expected.
With four truly elite forwards in Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander and Mitch Marner receiving more offensive support from depth pieces such as Ilya Mikheyev, Michael Bunting, and Alex Kerfoot, it’s easy to say that part of the Leafs’ game stays well above average.
But as this team’s vast amount of haters will happily tell you at every opportunity, the defense can be quite soft in zone. We’ve seen that a little too often of late. That has been exposed more so of late with Jack Campbell falling into less dominant form, posting an .864 save percentage over his last four outings with some notably poor rebound control at times.
Ducks vs. Maple Leafs Pick
In January, Leafs game totals have come in at an average of 6.87, and I think this sets up as a good spot for another higher scoring contest. Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Islanders was more due to the nature of that rivalry and how New York is always going to look to play against Toronto.
I feel that this is a spot where we should see Anaheim continue its improved offensive play over the last two outings against a Toronto defense that has allowed a higher number of goals against of late. On the other side, it’s hard for me to see the Ducks able to hold Toronto to a modest total here.
I imagine we will see Toronto carry a fair bit more of the play and turn that into some production while offering up some breakdowns themselves here. I think we have enough of an edge to back the over 6 at -105 here, and would play it down to -120.
Pick: Over 6 -105 (play to -120)
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