by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Maple Leafs are on their longest UNDER streak of the calendar year as they embark on the front end of a back-to-back – a scenario they often find to their liking.
The Maple Leafs are -150 home favourites with the Columbus Blue Jackets coming back as +130 underdogs with a 5.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Thursday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Toronto, which is the designated away team at Scotiabank Arena, is 10-10 in its last 20 games as a -150 or deeper favourite. Columbus is 5-3 in its last eight playoff games as an underdog, with the total finishing UNDER six times.
Maple Leafs vs Blue Jackets | OddsShark Matchup Report
However, over the last two seasons Toronto is 13-7 when also slated to play the next day. The total has gone OVER in 11 of those 20 matchups at sports betting sites. Columbus is 10-10 over its last 20 such games, with the total finishing UNDER 12 times.
Toronto tied the best-of-five NHL qualifying round series with a 3-0 victory on Tuesday, marking their fifth consecutive UNDER. The result broke a four-game losing streak in matchups where they closed as a favourite of -150 or deeper into minus money.
It took more than 90 minutes of trying before the Maple Leafs finally scored their first goal of the series on Tuesday, earning a reward for having 54.4 percent of the series’ five-on-five shot attempts. Toronto has faced challenges breaking down Columbus’ taut neutral-zone and defensive-zone structure, but Auston Matthews, fellow center John Tavares and right wing Mitchell Marner, the club’s top three attacking forwards, have been generating chances during 5-on-5 play. The Leafs’ power play is also seeking a breakout after an 0-for-6 start to the series. Toronto has allowed just one non-empty net goal in the series, but the defence corps will need adjusting after Jake Muzzin sustained a head/neck injury late in Tuesday’s game.
Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Anderson has a 0.50 goals-against average and .981 save percentage through the series’ first two games.
The Blue Jackets have taken only 45.6 per cent of shot attempts at five-on-five. Apart from centre Pierre-Luc Dubois and right wing Oliver Bjorkstand, most of their forwards have been too preoccupied with shutting down Toronto – effectively for the most part – to generate offence. Columbus was credited with only three high-danger chances in Game 2 to Toronto’s nine and trails 18-12 for the series, according to naturalstattrick.com. That is not a recipe for success, especially for a team that is also off to an 0-for-5 start on the power play.
Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo has a 1.02 goals-against average and .970 save percentage so far in the series.