Jets vs. Maple Leafs: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Jets vs Maple Leafs NHL
Winnipeg vs. Toronto, Bell MTS Place

This is another regular-season finale with nothing at stake for either team. The Winnipeg Jets could use this game as a springboard to the playoffs after struggling over the final few weeks of the season. The Toronto Maple Leafs are just trying to stay healthy to preserve the best season the team has had in a long time. I wouldn’t expect either team to play many of their stars as they try to keep everyone in good health for the playoffs that start next week.

Free Picks

The giant caveat in this wager is whether or not Jason Spezza will play Friday for Toronto. The Maple Leafs will likely rest many of their top players, and it is unclear if Spezza will be among those earning rest due to his age. However, if he is on the ice, Spezza will be very dangerous with the puck on his stick. In his last nine games, the veteran has a goal and seven assists, and that one goal came against the Jets on April 22. Especially given the uncertain nature of the lineups for both teams, I’m looking past the typical names who are easy targets for scratches. On Spezza, the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey are offering +520 odds, so the value is enough to overlook the worry about his playing status.

JASON SPEZZA SCORES GOAL

There are two ways this game can go with so many reserves and younger players likely to earn plenty of playing time in the season finale. We could see a very low-scoring game that lacks the typical skill we expect, or we see a high-scoring game as the defenses for both teams struggle. I’m betting on the latter for +280 odds at the NHL betting sites in New Jersey. David Rittich, who I expect will get the start for Toronto, has just an .888 save percentage in four games with the Maple Leafs. Toronto will also lack experienced defensemen who will be able to play a tighter defensive style, which should allow both teams to play more open-ice hockey. The more the action moves up and down the ice, the more likely we see a lot of goals, and it just feels like we’ll see that looser hockey from these two teams. There’s no reason for either team to take defensive risks that could result in injury, so the offense will flourish on both sides.

OVER 7.5 TOTAL GOALS

Picking a winner in this game seems futile because it’s hard to predict games like this that really don’t matter for either side. But if I’m going to pick one team, I’d choose Toronto because I trust its scoring depth more than I do Winnipeg’s. The Maple Leafs are heavy enough favorites that it’s hard to find good value on picking them to win. So I found a bet for +110 odds at the hockey betting sites in New Jersey for Toronto to score the first goal and win the game. It might not be the best value, but it’s as good as you’re going to find while betting on Toronto to win.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS SCORE FIRST AND WIN

Best Odds

Winnipeg Toronto
888Sport
+143 -175
FanDuel
+146 -174
BetMGM
+140 -165

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the last matchups of the season between Winnipeg and Toronto as the Maple Leafs have won six of the nine previous meetings this season, including all four in Winnipeg thus far.

Stats

  • When things have went well for Winnipeg over the past 11 games, it has gone really well. In their two wins over that stretch, the Jets have outscored opponents 9-0, but in their nine losses, the Jets have been outscored 35-13. Winnipeg has scored just two goals in 29 power-play opportunities during this span while opponents have converted seven times on 31 power plays.
  • After a brief five-game losing streak in the middle of April, the Maple Leafs have collected points in nine straight games entering the season finale with seven wins and two overtime losses. The power play has scored just twice in that span, but Toronto is outscoring foes 35-18 in those nine games and scored at least three goals in eight contests. Toronto’s last six opponents have also been held to less than 30 shots, including four times being limited to less than 25 attempts on goal.
  • The Jets’ goaltending duo of Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit have a respectable combined save percentage of .916 while allowing just 2.56 goals per game. The pair have saved 13 goals above average this season while facing roughly 30 shots per game. Among goalies with at least 30 games played this season, Hellebuyck ranks eighth in both goals against average (2.60) and save percentage (.915) this season.
  • Morgan Rielly has rediscovered his form as an elite defenseman at both ends of the ice for Toronto this season. Though he doesn’t have the offensive stats that he did in 2018-19, Rielly has five goals and 29 assists, including 11 helpers on the power play, in 54 games this season while playing a little over 23 and a half minutes per game. He also has a plus-14 plus/minus rating, which ranks third on the team among defensemen.

Our Prediction for Winnipeg vs. Toronto

Toronto Maple Leafs to win

It will be interesting to see what sort of lineups both coaches roll out in a meaningless game for both teams. In this situation, I trust the Toronto Maple Leafs’ scoring depth more than I trust the Winnipeg Jets, so I’m leaning towards the visitors in this game. Toronto has won six of the first nine games against the Jets this season, including all four games so far in Winnipeg. The Jets have slumped a bit heading into the postseason while Toronto has played well late in the season despite running away with the North Division and not having as much to play for over the last week or so.

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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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