Maple Leafs vs. Ducks NHL Odds, Picks: Back the Upset in Anaheim
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Troy Terry.
- The Ducks host the Maple Leafs on Sunday evening.
- Toronto has lost three straight and is looking to get back on track.
- Greg Liodice previews the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Maple Leafs vs. Ducks Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-175|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Toronto is going through an abysmal start to its season. Once viewed as the favorites in the East, the Leafs have lost three games in a row during their West Coast road trip and have fallen to a few teams that are projected for the bottom of the standings.
Similar to their opponents, the Anaheim Ducks are having a dreadful start as well. Since winning on opening night in overtime, the Ducks lost seven consecutive games. For the most part, every one of those hasn’t been close, and they have gotten obliterated each game.
Does Toronto get back to its winning ways? Or does Anaheim get off the seven-game snide?
Can the Talented Maple Leafs Put It Together?
For the past few years, the Leafs have had one of the deadliest forward groups in the NHL. Led by captain John Tavares and reigning MVP Auston Matthews, they’ll look to make serious noise in the playoffs, something this team has avoided since the early 2000s. Behind those two studs, they also have elite scorers in Mitch Marner and William Nylander. The talent has always been there, but it’s the execution that matters here.
With a team that’s so stacked, it’s surprising to see the Leafs struggling so much 5-on-5. They have a 17th-best 48.34 xGF% (Expected Goals) but average about 10 High Danger Chances per game. The Power Play is keeping them in games though, as they score at a 22.6% rate.
Defensively, the Leafs are about as average as it gets. They allow a 2.71 xGA/60 and their Penalty Kill is about the middle of the league with a 79% Success Rate.
Since Ilya Samsonov started last night in LA, I can see Erik Kallgren starting tonight. In two starts, Kallgren has looked ugly in net. He took the crease in the losses against Arizona and San Jose – both teams that are poised for the lottery this year. He’s currently playing to a -1.4 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) and an .857 SV%.
Ducks Playing Below Expectations
When you look at Anaheim’s roster, there’s a lot to like. However, it’s very clear that they miss veteran Ryan Getzlaf, who retired at the end of last season. Trevor Zegras is an emerging star, but he can’t do it on his own. Troy Terry has proven to be a legitimate goal scorer in this league, while Mason McTavish is a rookie with a lot of promise. There’s a lot of hope for the Ducks, but they’ve gotten off to a terrible start.
It’s astounding how poorly the Ducks has been, since it seemed like they were destined for a breakout this season. Only seven players have scored a goal, and they can’t generate any 5-on-5 opportunities with a third-worst 40.32 xGF%, and they have only created a little bit fewer than seven High Danger Chances per game.
They’re just as bad on the defensive end too. They allow the most High Danger Chances and a 3.06 xGA/60, while the Penalty Kill is among the worst with a 65.5% Success Rate.
Goaltending has been a nightmare for the Ducks this season. John Gibson has been a top-10 goaltender these past few years, but he hasn’t been able to save the Ducks from games like he usually has been. He’s playing to a lowly -3.5 GSAx and an .884 SV%. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter who starts in this game between him or Anthony Stolarz. Through eight games, they’ve allowed fewer than four goals once.
Maple Leafs vs. Ducks Pick
Coming into this game, these have been two different squads but in a similar situation. Toronto has disappointed so much that you’d have to think that coach Sheldon Keefe is on the hot seat soon. The Leafs have shown up against teams at their level like Dallas, Winnipeg and Washington. However, they’ve also managed to drop stinkers against lowly teams like Arizona and San Jose – which makes them very susceptible to take another L against a bottom of the barrel team.
Call me crazy, but this has upset written all over it. I don’t like the Ducks at all so far, but they can’t keep losing. Look at it however you want, but this team is pretty talented, and the execution has just been horrible. They’re just missing the veteran leadership to get them over that hump.
If you’re feeling spicy, take Anaheim moneyline here. If not, I also see Over 6.5 as a pretty safe option. Both goaltenders are struggling, and their defenses haven’t helped very much either.
Pick: Ducks ML (+155) or Over 6.5 (-140)