Maple Leafs vs Wild Picks and Predictions: Leafs Put Wild in Their Place

Toronto will serve as a serious litmus test for Minnesota as they visit Saturday night. With two high-scoring teams facing off, find out who has the NHL betting edge as we preview the matchup with our Maple Leafs vs Wild picks.

Last Updated: Dec 4, 2021 10:32 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs NHL
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The Maple Leafs may be 15-2 SU in their last 17, but they’re in tough tonight when they take on a Minnesota Wild team that has won five straight and outscored their opponents 24-9 over that stretch.

Can the Leafs continue to play the best hockey in the league? Can the Wild pad their lead on the Central Division? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Maple Leafs vs. Wild on Saturday, December 4.

Maple Leafs vs Wild odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

This game opened as a pick 'em but the Leafs have since been bet down to -120 and currently sit as the road favorites. The total opened at 6 and is trending down to 5.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until puck drop and be sure to check out the full NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Maple Leafs vs Wild predictions

Predictions made on 12/04/2021 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Maple Leafs vs Wild game info

Location: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: BSN, Sportsnet, CBC

Maple Leafs vs Wild betting preview


Maple Leafs: Mitch Marner F (Probable), Jake Muzzin D (Probable), Morgan Reilly D (Probable), Ilya Mikheyev F (Out), Ondrej Kase F (Questionable), Petr Mrazek G (Out).

Wild: Jared Spurgeon D (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Maple Leafs vs Wild head-to-head record (since 2017)

Maple Leafs: 4-2 SU, 20 goals for.
Wild: 2-4 SU, 14 goals for.

Betting trend to know

The Maple Leafs are 7-0 SU in their last seven road games. Find more NHL betting trends for Maple Leafs vs. Wild.

Maple Leafs vs Wild picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Leafs will get another test of the West’s best Saturday night as they take on the Minnesota Wild, who have impressed so much their head coach Dean Evason is the betting favorite for Coach of the Year.

Only the Leafs have collected more points than the Wild since November 1, who are 11-4 SU over that stretch. However, the level of opponents may have had something to do with those wins. Of the 11 wins, only three were against current .500 or better teams (Tampa Bay, Dallas and Pittsburgh). Minnesota has been playing great hockey, but with the other eight wins coming against the Devils (twice), Coyotes (twice), Kraken, Islanders, Jets, and Senators. Is Minnesota ready for the big boys from the East?

The Wild sport one of the best offenses in the league at 3.70 goals per game and 4.83 markers per contest at home. Beating the Leafs with offense is likely not the best route for victory, as the Avalanche proved Wednesday in their 8-3 loss. The Leafs can certainly win this game going toe-for-toe. 

Toronto matches almost all of Minnesota’s offensive numbers at even strength, which includes xgoal% and Fenwick%. But the Leafs still have a sizable advantage in xgoals 5 on 5, and those goals are starting to go in after a month of unlucky bounces and a shooting percentage well below league average. Over their last 5 games, the Buds have hit a groove at even strength and have scored an incredible 23 even-strength goals. Sheldon Keefe has all four lines going, Ondrej Kase could draw back in, and Auston Matthews has six goals in his last four games. If Minny wants to win, it’ll have to tighten things up on the back end.

Defensively, the Wild are a middle-of-the-pack team and sit 16th in goals against at 2.91, 19th in 5-on-5 goals allowed and have the league’s No. 17 penalty kill. No. 1 goalie Cam Talbot owns a 2.71 GAA with a .914 save percentage, which both rank outside the Top 20. His 0.118 goals saved above expected/60 ranks 23rd in the league as well. Toronto has another big advantage in net.

Jack Campbell is pushing his way into serious Vezina contention, as the Toronto goalie leads the league in GAA (1.72) and SV% (.943). He’s 11-2 SU in his last 13 and has allowed more than two goals just once in his last eight starts.

Mitch Marner and Jake Muzzin did leave Leafs’ practice on Friday after a collision, but it sounds like a precautionary thing, as both players traveled with the team. Defenseman Morgan Reilly also missed practice, but it sounds like it was just a maintenance day for the veteran.

The Leafs are also the best face-off team in the league, and winning offensive-zone draws has been a huge catalyst for this team's scoring success.

Keefe has this team incredibly focused and the consistency at which the Leafs have been playing has been incredible. It might seem like another game to get a great team at +100, especially at home, but make no mistake, the Leafs are the best team in hockey and have an advantage in nearly every aspect of this matchup.

Prediction: Maple Leafs ML (-120)

The Leafs are still one of the best Under teams in hockey with a 9-15 O/U mark, but with the offense running hot and facing another elite offense in the Wild, we’re taking a real good look at this Over 6.

The Leafs have scored 23 goals over their last four games and are 3-1 O/U over that stretch. Toronto has been less reliant on the power play to score and has made some league-average goaltending look silly over the last two weeks. Talbot has been playing decently over his last five starts, but the Wild have asked a lot from him, as he has seen 30, 31, 42, 36 and 38 shots in consecutive starts. 

Campbell is coming off his first start in eight games where he's allowed more than two goals. He's had to play more than any time in his career, as injuries and great play have kept him in the crease. He’ll likely get the day off on Sunday when the Leafs play the Jets, but he’ll be tested versus the Wild, who have scored 21 goals during their four-game homestand — all at 5-on-5.

Neither PP is hot right now, but as we’ve mentioned, both clubs have been making up for that at even strength, where the two teams rank in the Top 5 in goals for. 

The Over is 8-2 in Minnesota’s last 10 and 12-3 O/U in its last 15. Toronto is still one of the better defensive-responsible teams in the league, but its offense has caught fire and now faces one of the highest-scoring home teams in hockey. The push is in play and we’re riding the Over 6.

Prediction: Over 6 (+105)

The Wild have scored at least three goals in eight straight and in nine of their 11 games at home. This is important, as we don’t see the Leafs skating away with another 3-1 win on Saturday night. The scoring confidence is as high as it’s been all season coming off an eight-goal performance, and facing a Minnesota team that is league-average in most defensive metrics has us eyeing the total tonight.

Since November 1, Toronto leads all road teams with a 4.33 goals per game mark and ranks fifth in shots/game. Their road PP is also scoring at 30 percent over that stretch and gets to see a Minnesota PK that sits 16th in the league in success rate. 

Minnesota is one of the best home scoring teams in hockey and keeping them under three goals, even with Campbell, will be tough. The Wild’s offense should help keep the Leafs in scoring mode and, at +105, we’re riding this Over 6 and wouldn't be surprised if both teams potted three goals (+215).

Pick: Over 6 (+105)

NHL parlays

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