NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Maple Leafs vs. Canucks (Saturday, Feb. 12)
Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Toronto Maple Leafs standout Mitch Marner.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs go up against the Vancouver Canucks in Saturday's all-Canadian showdown.
- Mitch Marner and the Maple Leafs are currently -180 ML favorites and handicapper Tony Sartori is expecting a blue-and-white rout.
- Check out below why he thinks Toronto covers the big spread in this contest.
Maple Leafs vs. Canucks Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-200|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Toronto, the Atlantic Division’s third-place side, heads to Vancouver to take on the Pacific Division’s seventh-place franchise in Saturday’s NHL action. This will be the first game between these Canadian teams this season.
That said, can the Maple Leafs grab a road win laying -180 moneyline odds or do the Canucks have a shot at pulling off the home upset?
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs enter this contest following their 5-2 loss to Calgary on Thursday. For a change of pace, they will go with backup goaltender Petr Mrazek to patrol the crease instead of struggling Jack Campbell.
While Campbell had been solid, his play has really slipped as of late. Campbell has given up four or more goals to the opposition in four of his last eight starts.
Over those eight games, Campbell has a troubling 0.864 SV%. That said, this is an excellent opportunity for Mrazek to earn more playing time and the lowly Vancouver offense is the perfect setup for him to do so.
Mrazek has been a solid backup all season, posting a 0.902 SV%. Toronto’s backup goaltender has won his last four straight starts, with three of those coming by at least two goals.
Mrazek should have more than enough help in front of him, as the Maple Leafs have arguably the league’s best offense. Led by superstar forward Auston Matthews, Toronto ranks third in the league in 5-on-5 xG for per 60 minutes and first in average xG value of 5-on-5 shot attempts.
The Maple Leafs have been trending upward lately, winning six of their last seven games. Of those six wins, four have covered the puck line.
On the flip side, Vancouver’s play has been trending downward. The Canucks have lost six of their last nine games.
We must express caution if you like Vancouver. I suspect that the team will be a trendy upset pick as a home dog going against a backup goaltender. However, the Canucks have lost six of their last seven as home underdogs.
Vancouver’s recent struggles can be directly attributed to their offense. The Canucks rank 25th in the league in 5-on-5 xG for per 60 minutes and 29th in average xG value of 5-on-5 shot attempts.
Vancouver is much more banged up than Toronto, which is something to be concerned about. The Canucks have seven guys out, opposed to Toronto having zero scratches.
Maple Leafs-Canucks Pick
I love getting Toronto at this price following a loss, as it hasn’t lost two games in a row since the beginning of December. I believe we are getting a lot of value in the puck line due to Mrazek starting instead of Campbell, but one could definitely argue that this could increase Toronto’s chances of winning.
Another thing to watch out for is special teams. Vancouver’s only chance of keeping this close is a masterclass from starting goaltender Thatcher Demko and staying out of the penalty box.
Toronto ranks first in the league in PP%, while its foe ranks dead last in PK%. If Vancouver finds itself taking penalties, then It will be a long night for the team.
Pick: Toronto -1.5 (+140 — Play to +125)
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