Penguins vs. Maple Leafs Odds & Prediction | NHL Betting Preview (November 11)

Penguins vs. Maple Leafs Odds & Prediction | NHL Betting Preview (November 11) article feature image

Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Sidney Crosby.

  • There will be plenty of star power on the ice as the Maple Leafs host the Penguins.
  • Pittsburgh recently snapped a seven-game losing streak and is looking to continue the positive momentum, while Toronto is looking to stay hot.
  • Ryan Dadoun digs into the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Penguins vs. Maple Leafs Odds

Penguins Odds+125
Maple Leafs Odds-150
Over/Under6.5 (-115/-105)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Maple Leafs got off to a mixed start to the season, but have turned things around, posting a 3-0-1 record over their past four games. Similarly, the Penguins endured an uncharacteristic seven-game losing streak before finally snapping it on Wednesday with a 4-1 victory over Washington. Both of these teams have already endured challenges, but there's also a lot of star power on these rosters. This has the makings of a fun, hard-fought game, so let's take a deeper look.

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Does anyone have a defenseman for the Penguins … ?

The Penguins ended their losing streak on Wednesday, but it came at a cost. Pierre-Olivier Joseph suffered a lower-body injury and Jan Rutta sustained an upper-body injury. For a brief time, Jeff Petry also left the game, leaving the Penguins with just three defensemen. Fortunately, Petry returned, so the situation isn't quite a crisis. Still, the Penguins' depth will be tested if Joseph and Rutta aren't available.

On a more positive note, the Penguins' forward core is close to 100% healthy. Jeff Carter (lower body) registered an assist in his return and Josh Archibald (undisclosed) also made his way back. The Penguins even made Kasperi Kapanen a healthy scratch and while it was surprising to see him out of the lineup, that, to some extent, speaks to the Penguins' depth.

The Penguins' forwards had some poor showings during their seven-game skid, but with elite talent like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel, the Penguins typically aren't denied for long. Even after its recent slump, Pittsburgh still ranks ninth in the league offensively with 3.54 goals per game.

The Penguins' weakness is at their own end of the ice. Tristan Jarry has a 4-3-1 record, 3.38 GAA and a .903 save percentage. He's allowed a staggering 22 goals over his past five contests. Casey DeSmith was in net Wednesday and is 1-3-1 with a 2.80 GAA and a .913 save percentage. If Jarry continues to struggle, perhaps the Penguins will lean on DeSmith more, but for now, Jarry appears to be the team's No. 1 goaltender.

After finally ending such a long cold spell, Pittsburgh isn't going to be satisfied with just Wednesday's victory. Pittsburgh has a 5-6-2 record, so the Penguins still have plenty of ground to make up.

… What about a goalie for the Leafs?

The Penguins have a bit of a depth issue with their defense, but that's nothing compared to Toronto's goaltending woes. Ilya Samsonov (knee), Matt Murray (groin) and Joseph Woll (shoulder) are all sidelined. Murray might be back soon, but for Friday's game, the Leafs are expected to start Erik Kallgren.

Kallgren is 1-1-3 with a 2.99 GAA and a .890 save percentage in six games this season. That's not bad when you consider he'd be in the AHL under normal circumstances. However, this situation is far from ideal and Kallgren may have a tough time against an elite team like Pittsburgh.

Toronto should be able to provide him with plenty of offensive support. Going into the season, there was speculation John Tavares might be slowing down, but he hasn't played like that so far. Through 14 games, he's scored eight goals and 15 points. Auston Matthews isn't far behind as he's on a five-game point streak and has provided five goals and eight points in his past seven contests.

Mitch Marner is even hotter. He's going into Friday's action on a seven-game point streak and has contributed two goals and 11 points over that span. Rounding out Toronto's big four is William Nylander, who has scored five goals and 13 points in 14 games.

If Toronto's offense has a weakness, it's the scoring depth. Michael Bunting broke out last season with 63 points, but he's been held to two goals and six points in 14 contests. No one else has really stepped up to fill that void, so while the Penguins are swimming in scoring options, Toronto's forward group can basically be split into the elites and the rest.

Even with that disparity, Toronto can be a dangerous team offensively and the Leafs have scored 13 goals over their past four games.

Penguins vs. Maple Leafs Pick

If I had to choose a team to take on the moneyline, I'd go with Pittsburgh. The Penguins record is skewed by that long losing streak and I expect Pittsburgh to start living up to expectations. That, combined with the Leafs' goaltending issues, makes the Penguins a tempting pick.

However, I'd rather take the over in this game. It's a lesser potential payout, but in my mind, it's a much safer bet. Between the elite forwards on these two teams, the fact that this goaltending matchup is projected to be Kallgren vs. a struggling Jarry, and the Penguins' defensive question marks, everything seems to suggest this will be a high-scoring game.

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