NHL Odds: Can Favored Leafs End Skid In Matchup Vs. Blackhawks?

The Leafs have lost four consecutive games

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Visiting teams ran roughshod over their home counterparts Tuesday, winning five of the seven matchups, with three of those five wins coming by two or more goals. We have five games to look forward to Wednesday and some chalky favorites on the board. Three of the five games feature teams favored at -190 or higher.

These are some of our favorite NHL wagers from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Moneyline: Maple Leafs -200 | Blackhawks +168
Spread: Maple Leafs -1.5 (+122) | Blackhawks +1.5 (-146)
Total: 6.5 Over +100 | Under -124

Neither team is off to the start they were hoping for. The Toronto Maple Leafs have two wins through their first seven games, and the Chicago Blackhawks have none through their first six, setting up an Original Six matchup that both teams need to win.

Looking at these teams through an analytics lens, one team is vastly ahead of the other, and that’s reflected in the betting price. The Maple Leafs aren’t producing at the levels they were last season but they remain among the best in the league.

The Leafs continue to dominate possession at five-on-five, posting the sixth-best Corsi rating in the league. In three of their seven games, Toronto has been out-chanced in high-danger chances and scoring opportunities in just two games. That has resulted in positive relative metrics and an expected goals-for percentage of 53.7%, ninth-best in the NHL. However, the Leafs have been let down by their league-worst 5.5% shooting percentage, contributing to the fourth-worst PDO. This team has too many metrics working in their favor to remain underachievers for too long. The Leafs are breakout candidates.

Conversely, the Blackhawks don’t have many metrics working in their favor. Chicago has the third-worst expected goals-for percentage in the league, getting out-possessed, out-shot and out-chanced in four of their six games. Chicago hasn’t made the most of their opportunities either, sitting with the sixth-worst shooting percentage in the league.

A date with the porous Blackhawks could be what the Maple Leafs need to get their season back on track. However, the Hawks are also due for a few bounces and should see their shooting percentage increase against Jack Campbell, who has allowed eight goals through his first two road starts. We’re taking the over at even money.

The Pick: Over 6.5 +100

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars
Moneyline: Golden Knights +128 | Stars -152
Spread: Golden Knights +1.5 (-225) | Stars -1.5 (+184)
Total: 5.5 Over +100 | Under -122

The Vegas Golden Knights head into their contest against the Dallas Stars on the second of a back-to-back. The Golden Knights carry some momentum after upsetting the Colorado Avalanche on home ice Tuesday.

Vegas’ offense is off to a tepid start, and that’s been exacerbated on the road. The Knights have attempted a combined 15 high-danger chances at five-on-five over their first two road games. Their Corsi rating and other possession metrics are also suffering, as the Knights have posted an NHL-worst 38.2% rating as the visitors and the third-worst expected goals-for percentage.

Those lackluster metrics are unlikely to improve against a Stars team that does’t give up many opportunities. Dallas allows just 20.5 scoring and 7.3 high-danger chances at five-on-five, with only one of their six opponents attempting more than nine in a game. That defensive shell has helped them stay beneath the total in all six games this season.

The Stars are happy to play a neutralizing style of hockey rather than pushing the pace offensively. That style of game suits the Knights as they play their second game in as many nights. Look for this game to stay under the total and need overtime or a shootout to determine a winner.

The Picks: Under 5.5 -122, Regulation Tie +300

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