NHL Betting Preview (April 13): Red Wings vs Maple Leafs Odds

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nicholas Martin
13 days ago
The Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 win in Toronto on January 14th was arguably the best win of their season. They travelled into Toronto just hours before that game in a messy back-to-back situation and managed an excellent win at +180 underdogs.
Since that game on the Wings are only 16-16-4, and will likely need to go 3-0 in their remaining games to have any chance at a playoff berth as a result.
The Leafs meanwhile will hope to see a better start from Ilya Samsonov, who had an off night Thursday versus New Jersey. With just three games left, we can assume this is one of two remaining outings for Samsonov to enter the playoffs in top form.
I’ll outline the relevant game notes below, as well as hand out my best bet.

Red Wings vs Maple Leafs Odds

  • Red Wings Moneyline Odds: +150
  • Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds: -180
  • Puck Line Odds: Red Wings +1.5 (-160), Maple Leafs -1.5 (+135)
  • Game Total: 6.5 goals (over -120, under +100)
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings are set to turn to James Reimer for their most important game of the season after Alex Lyon allowed six goals against in Thursday’s overtime loss to Pittsburgh. Reimer has played to a +0.3 GSAx and .906 save % across 23 appearances this season.
Lyon has finally come down to earth with a bad stretch of play, so it is a logical move from Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde. It is fair to say though, that Detroit’s well below average defensive play has helped cause Lyon’s awful recent numbers.
Over the last 15 games, the Wings have allowed an average of 33.20 shots against per 60. Those chances have come from quality locations, leading to a 3.23 xGA/60 rating. In those matchups, the Wings have allowed 3.40 actual goals against per game.
When you analyze a smaller sample of the Red Wings play, it has been clear that the effort is very much there from a group desperate to return to the postseason. Trying harder doesn’t mean better decision making though, and the Wings’ blue line continues to have a tough time managing the puck versus talented offensive sides.
There is a lot of offensive upside littered throughout the Red Wings lineup though, and they feature better-than-average finishing ability in their middle six forward corps. They rank ninth with 3.30 goals for per game and continue to outscore their expected rates due to their potent finishing ability.
Toronto Maple Leafs
While this game really does not have much significance for the Leafs, the stakes do feel a little higher after Thursday’s 6-5 loss versus the Devils. I’ve personally been rooting for Ilya Samsonov since he was in Washington and always believed it was clear that when on top of his game Samsonov was a true #1 goaltender.
With that said, mental issues clearly can leak into his game, as with most goaltenders. With just three games and two being back-to-back, this will likely be one of two remaining starts for Samsonov. Nobody will want to see him heading into the postseason off a couple of bad outings, and this offers a great tune-up spot versus a Wings team in a near do-or-die position.
Based on Sheldon Keefe’s coaching statement today, the Leafs will employ the same offensive lines as the last two games.
The blue line is going to offer a considerably different look though, as Timothy Liljegren is set to jump back in the lineup alongside Morgan Rielly. The second pairing will feature Simon Benoit and Jake McCabe, while the third pairing will be Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie.
The current third pairing is a bit of a question mark ahead of this game. Neither Giodano nor Brodie have displayed overly strong form recently, and the Wings have scoring talent down the lineup that can make life hard for that duo.
Best Bets for Red Wings vs Maple Leafs
The Leafs will likely control more of the overall run of play here, but there are just enough question marks for me to pass at -175. Be it fair or not, backing Samsonov after a clear off night still isn’t something I’m interested in as a bettor. Particularly since the Red Wings have proven to be a clinical offensive group which can get the most out of a small number of chances.
The Red Wings continue to offer below-average defensive play themselves though, and are skating a below-average netminder in James Reimer.
Some arguments suggest a battened-down type game here. We know Sheldon Keefe will continue to emphasize sharp defensive play ahead of the postseason, and this is essentially a playoff game for the Red Wings. Still, those arguments don’t scare me off the over 6.5 considering the overall strengths and weaknesses in Detroit’s game.
Any price better than -120 is worthy of a bet on the game to go over 6.5.
Best Bets: Over 6.5 to -120

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