Maple Leafs vs Canucks: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Toronto vs Vancouver NHL
Toronto vs. Vancouver, Scotiabank Arena

The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to retake control in the North Division as they welcome the Vancouver Canucks to Toronto for a three-game series. The Canucks are looking to rebound from a lackluster pair of performances in Montreal that snapped a four-game winning streak for Vancouver.

Free Picks

As I’ll detail below, Vancouver is struggling to defend, but this is especially true with their top defensive pairing. If the Canucks can’t trust their top pairing to guard Matthews’ line, it might be a good day for that trio. I’m skeptical about the +150 odds from the hockey betting sites in New Jersey, but that also tells me the sportsbooks are on the same line of thinking. Matthews has scored a point in eight of the nine games he has played this season and he’s in a position with his linemates to create a plethora of goal-scoring chances against the Canucks.

AUSTON MATTHEWS SCORES 2+ POINTS

In the last 10 games, Vancouver has allowed five or more goals six times and three of the occasions the Canucks limited their opponent to less than five goals was holding hapless Ottawa to one goal. Vancouver’s defense is leaking badly and Toronto’s high-powered offense is not the team you want to face while trying to fix defensive issues. The Maple Leafs haven’t scored more than four goals since the opener, but if there was a time for the Maple Leafs offense to bust loose, it would be at home against a team that is struggling to defend. I love the +188 odds from the NHL betting sites in New Jersey as well on this wager, so it’s a home run pick in my opinion.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS OVER 4.5 GOALS

We’re going for a big risk on this wager with +260 odds from the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey. This is a wager about Toronto winning by three goals, which is a risk, but Vancouver is the perfect opponent to push the puckline on the Maple Leafs. This is Vancouver’s third game in four nights on the road and six of its seven losses this season have come by at least three goals and the other one was a two-goal defeat. If you take out the wins over Ottawa, Vancouver has lost four of its previous five games with three of them coming by at least three goals. Toronto has just two mutli-goal wins this season, but Thursday is the day for another big win for the Maple Leafs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS -2.5 GOALS

Best Odds

Toronto Vancouver
888Sport
-195 +155
Caesars
-180 +160
BetMGM
-175 +150

Statistics

Head to Head

This will be the first of three consecutive meetings and nine overall contests this season between Toronto and Vancouver.

Stats

  • Toronto won both matchups between these clubs last season as well as four of the previous five. The Maple Leafs are also riding a seven-game winning streak at home against Vancouver.
  • The Maple Leafs have the top power play in the NHL with 13 goals on 30 chances for a 43.3 percent success rate. However, Vancouver is one of four teams with multiple shorthanded goals so far this season.
  • Vancouver and Montreal are tied with 44 goals scored this season, but 16 of those goals were against Ottawa, who is tied with the Canucks with 48 goals against this season.
  • Quinn Hughes is off to a sensational start for Vancouver offensively with 13 assists, including six on the power play, but he holds a team-worst -7 plus-minus and has been on the ice for 18 of the 48 goals Vancouver has allowed this season.

Our Prediction for Toronto vs. Vancouver

Toronto Maple Leafs to win

When Vancouver isn’t facing Ottawa, its defense has been beyond poor this season. In 10 games not against the Senators, the Canucks have allowed at least five goals seven times, which is not a good strategy for facing this dangerous Toronto team. The Maple Leafs have too much firepower for the Canucks defense to hold back, and Vancouver’s offense isn’t enough to keep it in the game.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

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