Golden Knights vs. Maple Leafs Odds, Prediction, Preview: Fade Shorthanded Vegas

Golden Knights vs. Maple Leafs Odds, Prediction, Preview: Fade Shorthanded Vegas article feature image
Credit:

Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Auston Matthews

  • Odds for Golden Knights-Maple Leafs continue moving toward Toronto, as the Leafs opened at -180 and have since moved to -220 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
  • Vegas is arguably the most banged-up team in the league and lost center William Karlsson to injury over the weekend. The Knights are missing 6-7 regulars and several impact players, as well.

Updated Knights vs. Maple Leafs Odds

Knights Odds +180
Leafs Odds -220
Over/Under 5.5
Time 7:08 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings, updated at 5 p.m. ET. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Vegas will head in to Scotiabank Arena looking to build upon a three-game win streak as they continue to skate without several key pieces due to injury. Toronto will look to keep their season moving in the right direction after a 5-4 home victory over the Red Wings Saturday night.

Neither club is probably enthused to sit with just a .500 winning percentage, but who can we expect to push past that plateau and claim the two points tomorrow night?

Toronto Maple Leafs Bouncing Back From a Slow Start

As is tradition with the hockey world regarding the Maple Leafs, a small sample size of poor (or strong) play can draw a dramatic overreaction, and we caught another glimpse of that in the early going this season amidst the team’s early struggles.

Poor puck-luck and tough bounces can go a long way in determining short term results in the NHL. All reasonable indications showed that Toronto was due for progression offensively, be it high danger chances, slot passes completed or slot shots taken. Furthermore, they played their first three contests short possibly the best goal scorer alive in Auston Matthews.

That due progression has started to come over the last two victories, albeit against some lesser competition. However, I still believe this Leafs roster is considerably better than a .500 record indicates, and a 53.19 xGF% in the early going would suggest that as well, particularly when you consider some of the all-world finishing and offensive creativity the team possesses.

The Leafs will likely go back to Jack Campbell in net for the contest, who has been very reliable the last year for the Leafs. Through seven games this season Campbell owns a .918 save percentage and has stopped 1.4 goals above expected.

Golden Knights Weathering the Storm of Injuries

The Golden Knights were pegged as the heavy favorites to run roughshod over a weak Pacific Division, however a flurry of very meaningful injuries has left the club looking to just tread water until they can get some bodies back.

The Knights took another big blow Friday, as William Karlsson was injured blocking a shot against Anaheim and will be out approximately six weeks with a fractured foot.

He joins Vegas’ captain and best skater in Mark Stone, the team’s best goal scorer in Max Pacioretty, Alex Tuch, Mattias Janmark, Nolan Patrick, and Zach Whitecloud on the team’s lengthy IR.

So it is not surprising that the Knights have posted lesser results. However, even 4-4 is likely generous when you look at the gameplay of recent victories.

Robin Lehner will likely take the cage for Vegas, and he has stopped .910% of shots on goal over seven contests this season, stopping 2.4 goals above expected.

Golden Knights vs. Leafs Pick

It might look a little surprising to see Toronto as a heavy -175 favourite here against a Vegas team known to be amongst the NHL’s best, but I feel that price is well warranted given the current state of Vegas roster, and recent gameplay.

This sets up as a good spot for the Leafs to continue their positive offensive regression, playing against a shorthanded Knights squad who lead the league in expected goals against by a wide margin in allowing 3.43 xGA/60.

The Knights have lost the expected goals battle in each contest of their recent three-game win streak, altogether combining for just 7.61 expected goals for and a whopping 10.65 xGA/60.

I am willing to lay the chalk here and back Toronto’s talented offensive core to take advantage of a Vegas group which has offered up a lot of chances against so far this season.

Pick: Maple Leafs -175 (Play to -190)

The must-have app for NHL bettors

The best NHL betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

How would you rate this article?