by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
A recent loss has hurt the Toronto Maple Leafs’ value on the moneyline due to expectations it was only a one-game offensive drought, so bettors ought to look for the upside in the totals trend. The Maple Leafs are -180 away favorites and the Vancouver Canucks are +160 home underdogs with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Toronto is 6-2 in its last eight games as an away favorite, with the UNDER hitting five times. Vancouver is 3-6 in its last nine games as an underdog at home. The Maple Leafs are just 7-6 in their last 13 away games when favored at -150 or deeper into minus money. The Canucks are 7-10 in their last 17 home games as an underdog +130 or higher, with the total going UNDER in five of the seven most recent matchups.
Maple Leafs vs Canucks | OddsShark Matchup Report
The total has gone UNDER at sports betting sites in both five of Toronto’s last six games and three of Vancouver’s last four.
The Canucks beat the Maple Leafs 3-1 on Thursday when Toronto was on the second night of back-to-back games. Vancouver earned the edge in shots-for percentage (54.8) while Toronto rated higher in expected goals-for percentage (56.9 xGF%) and high-danger chances share (57.8), per Natural Stat Trick. The Maple Leafs were zero-for-two on power plays and Vancouver was one-for-one. (All advanced stats include only score- and venue-adjusted five-on-five play.)
The Maple Leafs, who are 18-5-2, have avoided slumps due to their shooting talent. Thursday’s matchup was only their fifth game with a shooting percentage under five percent, and they are 3-0-1 the next time out with the UNDER hitting in all three victories. Veteran left wing Joe Thornton did not play in the third period on Thursday, which could mean more offensive opportunities for left wing Zach Hyman alongside the Auston Matthews-Mitch Marner duo. Matthews – who is on a four-game goal drought – and No. 2 center John Tavares were 1-2 in expected goals on Thursday, according to MoneyPuck.
Toronto ranks 14th in the 31-team NHL in shots-for percentage (50.2), seventh in xGF% (52.7) and ninth in high-danger chances share (52.7). The Maple Leafs are first in goal scoring (3.52 per game) and fourth in goals against (2.36). Their power play ranks first (31.7 percent) and their penalty killing ranks 15th (79.5).
Frederik Andersen, who has a 12-3-2 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and .909 save percentage, should get the goaltending start. Andersen is ranked sixth by MoneyPuck in save percentage above expected over 20 career games against Vancouver, Andersen is 13-2-5 with a 1.57 GAA and .942 save percentage.
The Canucks are 10-16-5 this season. The Bo Horvat-Tanner Pearson-Jake Virtanen and J.T. Miller-Nils Hoglander-Brock Boeser lines each had a xGF% above 70 percent on Thursday, with Horvat’s line scoring all three goals. Repeating that effort is part of a tricky formula for Vancouver’s upset chances. The Canucks have only one win this season where their five-on-five save percentage was under .935 (with score and venue adjustments). They are 29th in the NHL in that goaltending category, and also allow high-danger chances at the worst rate.
Vancouver ranks 20th in shots-for percentage (48.8), 24th in xGF% (47.6) and 22nd in high-danger chances share (47.4). The Canucks are 18th in goal scoring (2.81 per game) and 29th in goals against (3.37). Their power play ranks 20th (18.4) and their penalty killing ranks 13th (80.8).
Thatcher Demko (6-9-1, 2.93 GAA and .911 save percentage) and Braden Holtby (4-6-1, 3.56 GAA, .893 save pct.) have split Vancouver’s goaltending starts. Demko had 1.94 goals saved above expected on Thursday and is 10th in the NHL in save percentage above expected, which seems like enough for him to earn a second consecutive start. Holtby has allowed three or more goals in seven of his last eight games.
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