Maple Leafs vs. Wild NHL Odds, Pick, Preview (Dec. 4)
Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Campbell.
- Two teams on five-game winning streaks face off when the Wild host the Maple Leafs.
- Both attacks have been on fire of late, powering these winning runs.
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Maple Leafs vs. Wild Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-115|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Toronto Maple Leafs will begin a short two-game road trip on Saturday when they travel to Minnesota to take on the Wild.
After getting off to a slow start, one that saw them lose five of their first seven games, the Maple Leafs have turned a corner and have found their groove. Toronto enters this matchup at 17-6-1 and finds itself in second place in the Atlantic Division behind only the Florida Panthers.
Minnesota has been having a great season, as well. The Wild come into this game atop of the Central Division with a record of 16-6-1, and they’ve won five straight entering Saturday.
We have two high-powered offenses on our hands in this game, and both have often seen high totals in many of their games. But how should we play this one on Saturday night?
Leafs Elite on Both Ends
Similar to Minnesota, Toronto enters this matchup having won five straight games, and a big reason why is because of its ability to find the net.
Over the course of their five-game win streak, the Leafs are scoring an average of 5.2 goals per game and getting whatever they want on the offensive end of the ice. In their most recent matchup against Colorado, Toronto managed to put eight goals in the net in a dominant display. I think they can keep that momentum going in this one.
On the season, Toronto finds itself in the top 10 in many offensive categories in 5-on-5 situations. The Leafs are second overall in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) with 2.82, second in high-danger chances per 60 minutes (HDCF/60) with 13.42, and they have scored a total of 51 goals in 5-on-5, which is the fourth most in the NHL.
Mitch Marner was injured in practice on Friday and comes into this one as questionable, but this is clearly a very well-rounded offense that gets contributions from just about everyone.
The Leafs have also been a good unit on the defensive end, allowing just 1.92 goals per 60 minutes in 5-on-5. They do surrender 11.8 high-danger chances to opponents in 5-on-5, though, which could pose an issue against a lethal Wild scoring attack.
Luckily for them, they can negate that with whoever is in net, and on Saturday it looks like it is going to be Jack Campbell. In 5-on-5 this season, Campbell has a save percentage of .947, high-danger save percentage of .866 and he leads the league with 13 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Wild Attack Powers Winning Streak
As previously mentioned, Minnesota enters this game on a five game winning streak of its own. Similarly to Toronto, it is because of one of the best attacks in the league this season.
The Wild are second overall in goals scored in 5-on-5 situations with 61, which is only two behind Washington for the league lead. This is also a squad that has managed to score at least four goals in seven of its last eight games, further proving that it can cause damage on that end of the ice.
In addition, in 5-on-5, the Wild are seventh in the NHL in xGF/60 with 2.49 and have been generating plenty of chances close to the net, averaging 11.24 high-danger chances.
However, the Wild do surrender 2.58 goals per 60 minutes and have let in a total of 46 goals in 5-on-5 this season, both of which rank in the bottom half of the NHL. They have not surrendered more than two goals in any of their last five games, but they haven’t faced an offense that is as good as Toronto’s in that span.
No starter has been named in net, but it looks like Cam Talbot is going to be getting the nod in this one after not playing in either of Minnesota’s last two games. In 5-on-5 this season, Talbot has a save percentage of .922 and -3.6 GSAx.
Wild vs. Maple Leafs Pick
One of these five-game win streaks has to come to an end here, but I look toward the total instead of an outright winner.
Both teams can flat out score the puck, with Minnesota averaging 4.8 goals per game in their last five games and Toronto at 5.2 in that span. The defenses have been playing great hockey, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the offense’s take over in this one.
I think Toronto will be able to get their fair share of goals regardless of who is in net for Minnesota, and I expect the Wild to get a few past Campbell even though he has been lights out for much of the season. Six goals is a high total, but it is one that is certainly capable of being reached with these teams on the ice.
Pick: Total over 6 (+100)