Winnipeg Jets (+138) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (-166) Total: 6.5 (O-102, U-120)
There’s a lot of positivity surrounding the Jets and Maple Leafs, who both sit in comfortable playoff positions and should feel good about their current standing. Expectations have continued to be high for the Maple Leafs, especially in the regular season, but we all know this team will only be fully judged when they get back to the postseason and try to end their playoff series win drought there.
The Jets and Maple Leafs already met once back in October, which saw Toronto pick up a 4-1 victory on the road. Since then, the Jets have continued to challenge for the Central division crown, while the Maple Leafs are still having difficulty gaining ground on the Boston Bruins atop the Atlantic, through no fault of their own. These two teams are Canada’s best shots at ending the 30-year Stanley Cup drought.
Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the visiting Jets are expected to start Connor Hellebuyck, while the Maple Leafs should do the same with Ilya Samsonov. The Jets netminder has posted a 22-11-1 record, paired with a .924 save percentage, while Samsonov is sitting at 13-4-1, along with a .916 save percentage. We’ve seen some strong performances from Hellebuyck against the Maple Leafs, and quite frankly, he’s the better goalie of the two.
The Jets are coming off a lackluster effort against the Montreal Canadiens, and you know they will be ready to play this tough matchup on the road against a strong Maple Leafs team. The Leafs are playing mediocre hockey at the moment, while the Jets are 8-2 over their past ten, which should lead to some confidence in backing the Jets moneyline price of +138.
Best Bet: Jets moneyline (+138)
These teams have shown why they sit where they do in the standings early on, which is evident through their underlying numbers. Each side sits in the top ten in both goals scored per game and goals allowed per game, meaning there’s certainly a variety of ways that this matchup could play out. We already saw these teams combine for just five goals earlier this season, but tonight’s total is currently set at 6.5, with the over sitting at -102 while the under is priced at -120. Look for a similar game script to the one that transpired earlier this season and expect both goaltenders to be on their games, meaning there’s merit in backing the under here.
Best Bet: Under 6.5 (-120)
There’s a certain minor rivalry that’s been prevalent between the Jets and Maple Leafs of late, and one player that’s continued to be at the forefront of that is Mark Scheifele. The Jets center has tallied 26 goals in 45 games this season and leads the team with three over their past five matches. You know that the Jets star forward will get up for this game. That should attract bettors who know the story to back some of his props. Scheifele has a knack for these settings, and there’s simply too much value in his odds to score tonight at +225 to ignore.
Best Prop: Mark Scheifele to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+225)
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