Maple Leafs vs. Kings Odds, Pick, Prediction: Turn Your Attention to the Over/Under (November 24)
Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Quick.
- The visiting Maple Leafs are -165 on Wednesday night against the Kings.
- While Toronto has big-name offensive talent, it has gotten great production between the pipes, as have the Kings.
- Greg Liodice breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Maple Leafs vs. Kings Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-165|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
In Downtown Los Angeles, the Kings host the red hot Toronto Maple Leafs, with both teams currently playing at an opposite trajectory.
If it weren’t for the Florida Panthers, the Maple Leafs would’ve easily had sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division. They’re one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now after going 8-2 in their last 10 and winning six out of their last seven.
Standing at sixth in the Pacific division, the Kings are looking to get back into their playoff ways. However, after their loss to the lowly Coyotes, they’re making it hard for themselves.
Prior to losing four straight, the Kings were setting the league on fire with seven straight wins. It won’t be very easy to get back to their winning ways against a scorching Leafs roster.
Defense Gives Toronto New Dimension
Aside from Anaheim, the Maple Leafs just might be the hottest team in the NHL.
You’d be hard pressed to find a team with more offensive firepower. It’s hard to ignore the core four of Toronto with Mitch Marner (17 points), captain John Tavares (16 points), William Nylander (16 points and superstar Auston Matthews (15 points). Not to mention a decent back end with Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin and TJ Brodie. It won’t be easy for the opposition against the Leafs.
Toronto’s 5-on-5 stats are all over the place. It generates the most high-danger chances in the NHL with 213, but its expected goals per 60 minutes rate is 1.94 xGF, which is 27th in the league. Where the Leafs are most successful is on the power play, where they score at a 23.2% clip, good for seventh in the NHL.
After struggling to make his mark for years, Jack Campbell is just now getting into his groove between the pipes. He holds the best save percentage among goaltenders with a .944 and a 13.9 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Goaltending and defense has always been the key issue with Toronto but with Campbell’s resurgence and the defense improving, it’ll be hard to get anything past the blue and white.
Los Angeles Hopes to Compete Again
After a few years of placing in the bottom of the standings, it seems like the Kings are ready to take another step in their new chapter.
Captain Anze Kopitar is averaging a point per game, Alex Iafallo is proving to be a top contributor and Philip Danault is the defensive center that Los Angeles has been looking for. Factor in the young talent it has coming up, and hockey is on the upswing in Southern California.
The talent may be evident, but driving play has not been their strength. While they do generate a ton of high danger scoring chances (171 all season), they have a very low expected goals per 60 minutes rate with a 2.19 xGF. As the young guys get more experience, the combination of the proven vets, I expect that number to only go up.
Goaltending has been a major surprise. While it seemed like veteran net-minder Jonathan Quick was on the backend of his career, he’s suddenly had a resurgence. Coming into this game, he’s posting a .939 save percentage and a 9.4 GSAx which is among the best in the league. While his partner Cal Petersen could be better, he’s been fine with a .902 save percentage and a -1.5 GSAx.
Petersen and Quick have basically shared the starts, but since Toronto is a powerhouse, I expect the more experienced Quick to get the nod.
Leafs vs. Kings Pick
While the Kings are having a hard time right now, I think they can give the Leafs a run for their money. This could be a big time battle of the goalies with both Quick and Campbell so it could put fans on the edge of their seats.
I can see some value, however, going for the under. Both Quick and Campbell do not let much past them, and can see this being very tight and low scoring.
Pick: Under 5.5 (-130)
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