NHL Odds Favor Toronto Despite Recent Trends
The Toronto Maple Leafs are compared to the Dallas Cowboys because of how consistent they are at disappointing in the playoffs. But what about the Los Angeles Lakers? Toronto is typically overestimated on the NHL odds just like this Maple Leafs vs Flames preview exposes. Despite their four-game skid, they are favored against a host that has won four straight. Given the lines, is Toronto “fade”-worthy?
What’s Wrong with the Maple Leafs?
The Leafs have not only lost four straight NHL games but have been going through a rough patch since it annihilated Pittsburgh 14 games ago. Toronto is 5-9 during this span. Its only victory against a winning team came on the road against Los Angeles, a team that is 7-12 (7-5-5) at home. So what’s wrong?
For one, Toronto is not scoring enough. This NHL team is averaging just under 2.7 goals per game in its last nine defeats. Its defense is subpar and its goaltending is a sore spot. Martin Jones has cooled off. He is 0-2-1 with an 88.2% save percentage (SV%) in his last three starts while Ilya Samsonov is still terrible. And the Leafs can’t hold on to its early leads.
“You want people like me to come up here and tell you how good your team is? It’s not very good. Defensively, they’re not very good,” hockey analyst Craig Button said on Sportscenter in response to Toronto’s 4-2 loss against the Oilers. “They don’t know how to hang on to leads and they know how to fold. And they did it again.”
Toronto blew another early lead and now drops to 13-11 (13-7-4) after scoring the first goal. Snarky fans may bet against the Leafs on the live NHL odds after it scores first.
What’s more damning is how Toronto’s stars are healthy. It has four All-Stars on its NHL starting lineup. Only Vancouver has more.
And yet, Toronto continues to be favored. That’s mainly due to its popularity similar to the Lakers of the NBA. But as it stands, Leafs fans would be nearly seven units in a hole if they backed them in every game.
Flames are Sizzling Thanks to a Familiar Face
Calgary is making a bit of a push. The team is just two points back of a wild card spot. The Flames have won five of its last six home games and seven of its last nine overall. While its offense is building, it’s getting it done thanks to a player on the rebound: Jacob Markstrom.
The goalie continues his bounce-back NHL season as he’s now up 5-1-0 with a 93.5% SV% since New Year’s Eve. He has not allowed more than three goals in his last seven games. And that is Calgary’s magic number. The Flames are 20-8 (20-6-2) when they hold opponents to three goals or fewer.
With Toronto sputtering on offense, Calgary has a chance to make it 21-8. The Flames should be favored per the Maple Leafs vs Flames preview odds. But we’re not complaining about betting them at underdog prices. Calgary is 4-1 in its last five games playing as an underdog at home.
Markstrom, if he plays, can outdo whoever the Leafs have in goal. He’s saved 78 of the 82 shots he’s faced against Toronto in his last two appearances against it. And if he can stay this hot against the Leafs, the total of 6.5 should go ‘under’. A same-game parlay of Calgary at +110 and under 6.5 goals at +100 pays at +320.
This could be a shrewd bet given this Maple Leafs vs Flames preview. But given how the public is betting, we should expect a high-scoring NHL scores today. Calgary can keep up with Toronto with its average of four goals in its last nine games.