Free NHL Picks: Maple Leafs at Oilers Odds
by George Monroy - 10/28/2013
The Toronto Maple Leafs may have gotten their most impressive win of the young season on Saturday when the team shut down the Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins during a 4-1 victory. Toronto’s hot start to the season has them tied for the Atlantic Division lead with the Tampa Bay Lightning with 16 points apiece. Before the year began, most sportsbooks and NHL experts had the Maple Leafs as a mid-tier team receiving the eighth- or ninth-best odds to win the Conference. After 12 games into the season, the teams’ odds have dramatically increased, and they are now on the short list of contenders to win the Eastern Conference.
The Edmonton Oilers are in the complete opposite situation. The team was receiving the sixth-best odds to win the Western Conference before the season started and now have the worst record in the West with only eight points on the year. The Oilers’ defense has been atrocious, and their offensive has only been marginally better. Edmonton may have a bit of an excuse for their poor play as it can be partially blamed on their difficult schedule to start the year. The Oilers have played nine of their first 13 games on the road. However, things are not expected to get any better because the team will now play four of their next six games away from Rexall Place Arena. Let’s take an in-depth look at Tuesday night’s Maple Leafs versus Oilers matchup and figure out the best side of the game to wager on.
Maple Leafs at Oilers Betting Story Lines
The Maples Leafs added two huge wins to their record last week when they beat the Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins by a combined five goals. Goalie James Reimer made his return to the net against Pittsburgh after missing four games, and he showed no signs of rust. The goaltender saved 37 shots and allowed only one goal against a high-scoring Penguins team. Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland scored two goals to bring his season points total to 10. Toronto has one of the most effective offenses in the league, and ranks fifth in goals scored per game with 3.3. The team currently has six players with four goals or more on the season.
The Edmonton Oilers are in the middle of a three-game losing streak where they have given up 11 goals. The team was all over the map during their last loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. The Oilers defense and puck control were horrible, and the team gave up 48 shot attempts to the Kings—which was their highest attempts total in over four seasons. Edmonton also managed to get only 18 shot attempts throughout the entire game. The only bright spot was goalie Richard Bachman’s first start of the season and the 47 saves he committed. The young goaltender is expected to start on Tuesday against the Kings as Devan Dubnyk is still listed as questionable with an ankle sprain.
The Oilers are a team that is in desperation mode and needs to play with more intensity. Edmonton has not won a home game all season, and they went into their two-game road trip over the weekend calling both games a must-win. Of course, they did not win either of them, but head coach Dallas Eakins had his squad in the right frame of mind. The Maples Leafs have done nothing but overachieve this season and are ranked fifth in goals scored with 3.3, seventh in goals allowed with 2.5 and fourth in power player percentage.
Maple Leafs at Oilers NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Both Toronto and Edmonton opened at -105 at BetOnline, and the game is essentially a ‘pick’em’. The puckline is at -305 for Toronto take the 1.5 goals and +255 for Edmonton giving them away. The total opened at 5.5 goals, with the “over” being favored at -131. The Maple Leafs are 4-1 during their last five matchups against the Western Conference and are 6-2 during their last eight games played on two days of rest. The Oilers are 2-9 during their last 11 home games and are 1-5 during their last six games played on one day of rest. Head-to-head, Toronto is 4-0 during the last four meetings versus the Oilers and is 4-1 during the last five games in Edmonton.
Free NHL Picks: Maple Leafs at Oilers Betting Predictions
The Oilers have simply not been competitive in any of their last three losses, and it is difficult to back them in Tuesday’s matchup against the Maple Leafs. Home teams always have value, and in general backing them are solid wagers to make, which is why wagering on Edmonton to get a much-needed victory is not bad situation to be in. Toronto has not played since Saturday and is coming off of a huge win over the Penguins. The team could easily overlook this matchup and underestimate the Oilers. One concerning stat is that the Maple Leafs give up nearly 35 shot attempts per game while only taking 27 themselves. This matchup feels like a trap game for Toronto, particularly because Edmonton will be desperately trying to win their first home game of the season. Take the Oilers on the Moneyline.
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