The Edmonton Oilers aren't enjoying this "all-Canadian division" thing so far.
Fresh off a humbling home sweep at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens, the Oilers look to turn things around as they face the Maple Leafs in Toronto Wednesday. Edmonton fell to 1-3 on the season after getting outscored 8-2 in a pair of losses to the Canadiens, and the visitors are +130 underdogs as they tangle with a Maple Leafs team (-150) that is off to a much better start, having won three of its first four games.
These are our favorite NHL free picks and predictions for Oilers vs. Maple Leafs on January 20.
Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Preview
Oilers: F James Neal (Questionable), F Gaetan Haas (Questionable), G Mike Smith (Out)
Maple Leafs: F Nicholas Robertson (Out)
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Betting Trend to Know
Toronto has won seven of the last eight head-to-head meetings with Edmonton. Find more NHL betting trends for Oilers vs. Maple Leafs. Find more NHL betting trends for Oilers vs. Maple Leafs.
NHL Sharp Money and Line Movement ReportBy Patrick Everson
Toronto hit the FanDuel odds board late Monday night as -165 chalk, quickly peaked at -170, dipped to -158 early today and sits at -164 about three hours before the 7 p.m. ET puck drop. Ticket count is 4/1 and money 5/1 on the Maple Leafs. The total of 6.5 has seen several price adjusments between the opener of Over -122 and Over -115, where it stands as of 4 p.m. ET. Ticket count is 2/1 and money 4/1 on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
Puck Line Pick
The Maple Leafs knew they had some work to do on the defensive end after allowing nine goals over their first two games (which they split). And they appear to have their defensive house in order, at least for the time being, after limiting Ottawa and Winnipeg to three total goals in impressive back-to-back victories. Toronto allowed just 47 total shots in those wins.
You always have to be careful when betting against an Oilers team that can rack up a half-dozen goals in any game. And that's just what happened the last time these teams met, with Edmonton pulling out a 6-4 victory. But that result was an outlier in the recent head-to-head series, with Toronto winning seven straight prior to that (while holding the Oilers to just 13 goals).
Toronto is playing better hockey right now, and that's enough for us to take the home team on the ML.
PREDICTION: Maple Leafs -150
Both teams have gotten off to similar starts from a totals perspective, opening with back-to-back Overs before converting the Under in each of their previous two games. Are we seeing defenses adjust more quickly than in seasons past, when high scores usually carry through the first month-plus of the season? This sample is too small to judge, but it's possible.
That said, both teams have been active on offense, even if it hasn't led to much scoring from the ever-dangerous Oilers. They rank fourth in the NHL in shots on goal per game at 34.5, with the Maple Leafs close behind in sixth (25.8). And while Toronto is allowing just 25.8 shots, part of that is due to having faced an Ottawa team expected to struggle scoring goals this year.
Both sides shoot a ton, and both goaltending units boast save percentages below 90 percent so far. There's an awful lot of offensive talent in this game, and that should result in plenty of scoring chances.
PREDICTION: Over 6.5 (-110)
Oilers vs Maple Leafs Betting Card
- Maple Leafs -150
- Over 6.5 (-110)
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