The scenario for both teams has sapped the moneyline value in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ game on Saturday, but there is a strong OVER trend worth riding until the wave breaks.
The Maple Leafs are the -340 home favorite (bet $340 to win $100) on the NHL betting lines for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com with the New York Rangers coming back as a +270 away underdog (bet $100 to win $270), and a 6.5-goal total. While the Maple Leafs have lost four of their last six games, they have had a two-day break and are 10-3 in their last 13 games as a home favorite of -200 to -500 on the moneyline. The Rangers are 0-6 in their last six away games as the underdog of +200 or more.
This is the rubber match of the two Eastern Conference teams’ season series, with the home team having won each contest. The Rangers prevailed 4-1 in New York in the most recent meeting on February 10, but the Maple Leafs were in the second leg of a back-to-back after winning in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens the evening prior.
Toronto somewhat righted the ship with a 4-2 away victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. Zach Hyman, Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and John Tavares each scored goals. Matthews and Kasperi Kaspanen shared the team lead with seven shots.
While Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock might prefer some shutdown hockey as the playoffs draw near, the total has gone OVER in Toronto’s last seven home games where they were a favorite of -200 to -500 on the moneyline, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The total has also gone OVER in nine of the Toronto’s last 10 home games at Scotiabank Arena.
The continued absence of defencemen Jake Gardiner (back) and Travis Dermott (upper body), which has played a factor in goalie Frederik Andersen having a sub-optimal stat line so far in March with a 3.69 goals-against average and .886 save percentage, might also indicate that the Leafs could give up a few goals to the Rangers.
The Maple Leafs have the NHL’s third-best offense, averaging 3.6 goals per game, while the rebuilding Rangers are 21st at 2.7 goals per game. Toronto boasts the league’s seventh-best power play (22.4 percent) and is tied for 14th in penalty killing (80.7 percent). The Rangers are ranked 16th on the power play (19.1 percent) and 26th at penalty killing (78.5 percent).
The Leafs are all but locked into third place in the Atlantic Division, sitting six points back of the Boston Bruins and eight points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens with eight games remaining. This is the second of Toronto’s five consecutive games against teams that are not in a playoff position, as they next host the Florida Panthers on Monday. The Rangers, who are 13th in the Eastern Conference, host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.