Exactly one week into the regular season, some teams are very satisfied with their starts, while others are looking for things to turn around. We’ll see both in action Wednesday evening when the 3-1-0 Toronto Maple Leafs host the 1-3-0 Edmonton Oilers in a North Division showdown.
Edmonton Oilers Betting Preview: A Slippery Start
It’s been a tough go to start the year for the Oilers, who made the playoffs last season as the five-seed, the highest of the qualifying round. The main issues stems from their defense, as they are allowing a whopping 3.75 goals and 36.3 shots per game in their first week of action. They’re also just 20th in hockey with 2.5 goals per game, but still average over 34 shots on goal.
In Edmonton’s season-opener against the Canucks, they allowed five goals on 35 shots, three of which came in the third period, to lose 5-3 at home. The stars were held in check for the Oilers, as the reigning Hart Trophy winner Leon Draisaitl had a lone assist and former MVP Connor McDavid was held without a point. However, that duo was on fire the following game against Vancouver, when McDavid netted his seventh career hat trick and Draisaitl racked up four assists in the 5-2 victory. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was also great, netting a pair of goals along with an assist.
However, the offense would go cold when the Canadiens came to town. Edmonton mustered just one goal against Carey Price, who made 34 saves in Montreal’s 5-1 win. Defenseman Slater Koekkoek scored the lone goal to end the shutout in the third, with McDavid and d-man Tyson Barrie on the assist. Two nights later, a shorthanded goal from Devin Shore was once again all Edmonton could muster on offense, as they fell 3-1 to the Habs. They were out-shot 34-26 in the contest, as backup goalie Jake Allen faced very little pressure from the Oilers all game.
Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Preview: “Unbe-leaf-able”
The last time the Maple Leafs took the ice before this new season, their season was ending at the hands of the Blue Jackets in the qualifying round. But so far, Toronto looks the part of a true contender after four games. The Leafs crack the top-10 with 3.5 goals per game on nearly 34 shots. They’ve also improved significantly in some of their defensive stats, where they are allowing three goals a game on a low 25.8 shots.
In their season opener, the Leafs traded goals with the Canadiens throughout, as William Nylander led the way with a pair. Finally in overtime, defenseman Morgan Reilly scored from the left circle to give Toronto a 5-4 win. John Tavares was also one of the game’s top performers, registering a goal with a pair of helpers. However, their next game was the one wart of the season. Despite getting out to a lead against the Senators, Ottawa registered four unanswered goals to beat Toronto 5-3. Tavares had another two points, but goaltender Frederik Andersen performed poorly, allowing five goals on 24 shots.
The Maple Leafs would bounce back though in their second meeting with the Sens. After an early deficit, it was Toronto who scored three unanswered goals to win 3-2. The veteran Joe Thornton netted a goal, while stars Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews finally scored their first goals of the season, Matthews’ coming via the power play. The defense and puck possession in the game was also exemplary, as Toronto out-shot Ottawa 40-19 in the contest. Toronto rolled the good play over into Monday’s one-off game hosting the Jets, where they defeated Winnipeg 3-1 and out-shot them by 10. Marner scored twice, the latter of which was an empty-netter, Tavares scored his third goal of the season, and Andersen made 27 saves.
Oilers vs. Maple Leafs Betting Odds & Lines
MyBookie has the Maple Leafs as -155 favorites to win, with the Oilers at +130. It is one of the more reasonable lines we have seen so far, especially when you consider how each team has started their seasons.
Furthermore, the over/under at MyBookie is 6.5, which happens to be the highest point total of the evening. Currently, the O6.5 is favored at -120, with the under at even money.
Free Betting Pick
There is plenty of star power on both sides of this matchup. Expect Draisaitl and McDavid to play important parts in Edmonton’s game-plan, while Matthews, Marner and Tavares will do the same for Toronto. I also wouldn’t be surprised at all if this game goes over the 6.5 goal total, given the offensive output of those stars and the shaky goalies in net.
Ultimately, I think the Leafs will overwhelm the Oilers. Toronto has been mustering a ton of shots and scoring chances, while Edmonton is allowing their goalie Mikko Koskinen to get bombarded. Edmonton will also get shots, but the Leafs’ ability to maintain possession of the puck will limit what Andersen gets thrown his way. I’m picking the home favorites to take care of business for their third straight win.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Maple Leafs -155