Wednesday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Edmonton Oilers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Preview
Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Kerfoot, William Nylander and John Tavares
- The Maple Leafs are rolling as they meet Edmonton on Wednesday night.
- Toronto is favored and expected to roll against the struggling Oilers.
- Continue reading for a full betting preview, including a prediction.
Oilers vs. Maple Leafs Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-210|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Usually when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers square off, there’s an excitement around Canada due to the matchup of Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. Unfortunately, McDavid tested positive for COVID, and we won’t have that faceoff tonight.
After a red-hot start to the season, Edmonton has really struggled. From being at the top of the Pacific Division to start, the Oilers are now 9-13 in their last 22 games, and are clawing to stay in the playoff hunt.
Toronto has only played one game since the season’s pause and won its third straight in convincing fashion. The Leafs will look to extend that streak against a short-handed and struggling Oilers roster.
Oilers Struggling After Hot Start
The Oilers have a solid roster. It’s built with some of the more elite talent in the game. Unfortunately, their weaknesses have been glaring recently, primarily on defense and goaltending (10th most high danger chances allowed).
They’re missing superstar McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Derek Ryan, so it’s up to Leon Draisaitl, Jesse Puljujarvi and Zach Hyman to carry the load.
With this recent stretch of disappointing hockey, the Oilers have been exceptionally poor at driving play. Once near the top in expected goals per 60, they’re now 14th with a 2.46 xGF, and are ranked 15th in high danger chances created.
Their saving grace is the power play, where they lead the league by scoring 30.5% of the time. Still, for a team with the weapons it has, Edmonton needs to be better 5-on-5.
Goaltending has always been the kryptonite for Edmonton. The Oilers stuck with Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen for a few years, and it’s done nothing except find them missing the playoffs and a few first round eliminations.
Smith has been battling injuries all season and in the five games he’s played, he has an .897 SV% and a -3.7 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected). Koskinen hasn’t been much better with a .900 SV% and a -4.0 GSAx in 20 starts. Unless Smith is still healing, I expect Koskinen to get the nod.
Maple Leafs Loaded With Talent
Speaking of elite talent, let’s talk about the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto possesses some of the deadliest talent in the league, starting with Matthews. Behind him is William Nylander, captain John Tavares and Morgan Rielly who have been lighting the league on fire.
Unfortunately, the Leafs will be without Mitch Marner, who is recovering from a long-term shoulder injury. However, even without Marner, the Leafs can still dominate teams — as seen on Saturday in a 6-0 result against Ottawa.
With all the firepower, it’s no surprise that the Leafs generate an incredible amount of scoring chances. Currently ninth in the league, Toronto is posting a 2.65 xGF per 60, and creating the fifth most high danger chances. The Leafs are also the second-best power play team (behind Edmonton) scoring at a 29.7% clip, so they are dangerous in all aspects on the offensive end.
Jack Campbell is quickly becoming one of the league’s best goaltenders. The American net-minder hasn’t felt the pressure in the Hockey Mecca, as he leads all goalies in both save percentage with a .939 SV% and Goals Saved Above Expected with a 17.4 GSAx.
One thing to note is that his backup, Petr Mrazek, hasn’t played since December 11th, and with Edmonton short-handed, coach Sheldon Keefe may look to start him. I would prepare for Campbell to start, but have a contingency plan if Mrazek takes the crease.
Oilers vs. Maple Leafs Pick
It’s disappointing that we won’t be graced with a McDavid vs. Matthews bout, but I think Toronto will benefit immensely. No matter who’s in net for Edmonton, it won’t make much of a difference.
The Oilers let up a large amount of high danger chances, while Toronto is a top-five team at creating them. I just don’t think this will be close.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5 (+105)