New York Islanders (+140) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (-178) Total: 6.5 (O +102, U -124)
Expectations were high for the Maple Leafs entering the season, but they’ve played differently than how many expected. That’s not to say that they’ve been playing with a more defensive focus, but the results have shown on that side of the puck. The Leafs have allowed the seventh-lowest goals per game in the NHL. The Isles were always going to play a defensive style, but more was expected, as they sit eleventh in goals scored and allowed per game.
The Islanders enter this matchup losers of two straight, with a 6-4 record over their last ten, while the Maple Leafs are 6-1-3 over that same stretch. The Islanders have had a problem scoring goals but have allowed more goals than accustomed.
Regarding the projected goalie matchup, the visiting Islanders will turn to Ilya Sorokin, while the Maple Leafs will start Erik Kallgren. The Islanders netminder has a 7-5 record with a .925 save percentage, while Kallgren is 2-2-3 with a .893 save percentage. Even though Kallgren looks less than adequate, he’s given the Maple Leafs a chance to win every time he’s been in the net.
It’s not the most attractive price, but the Maple Leafs are on the cusp of going streaking, and they love getting up for games like this, so look toward their moneyline price of -178.
Best Bet: Maple Leafs moneyline (-178)
There’s a lot of offensive potential in this matchup, which should be the primary focus, with the total set at 6.5. The under has some juice at -124, while the over sits at +102. The Islanders have seen four of their last five games end with six or more goals scored. With the Maple Leafs slowly but surely getting their offense going, there is potential for a high-scoring game. As a result, side with the over 6.5 at +102.
Best Bet: Over 6.5 (+102)
Heavy expectations are always placed on Auston Matthews. He’s still on a 40-goal pace, but after scoring 60 last season, there was a belief he would stay on that pace or better it this year. However, Matthews has struggled to find the back of the net at five-on-five. Still, expect him to thrive in a “big boy” hockey game opposite the Islanders. Matthews is not often listed as plus-money to score, so don’t pass up this opportunity at +108.
Best Prop: Auston Matthews to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+108)
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