NHL Betting Preview (Mar 14): Maple Leafs vs Flyers Odds

Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nicholas Martin
1 month ago
The Leafs will look to avoid a letdown Thursday, as they skate as road favorites after four days of rest Thursday with Mitch Marner sidelined.
I’ll outline the relevant game notes below, as well as hand out my best bet.

Maple Leafs vs. Flyers Odds

  • Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds: -125
  • Flyers Moneyline Odds: -125
  • Puck Line Odds: Maple Leafs -1.5 (+127), Flyers +1.5 (-222)
  • Game Total: 6.5 goals (over +100, under -122)
All odds courtesy of Betano and are subject to change. Create your account with Betano today!
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs will enter this matchup well rested, having last played Saturday in Montreal. For what it’s worth, the Leafs have struggled to a record of 1-2-1 on games after four or more off-days this season, although I’ll note I do not personally view that as a trend holding betting merit. Mitch Marner is a huge loss from the lineup, but he is likely to be the only skater missing from what will be the Leafs Game One playoff roster in this matchup. Calle Jarnkrok took over Marner’s roles on the top line and top powerplay unit at Wednesday’s practice.
Ilya Samsonov is confirmed as tonight’s starter, which is a firm comment that he is currently viewed as the number one goaltender. Samsonov has played to a .910 save % in 15 games since January 14th.
Over the last 20 games, the Leafs underlying results remain very strong. They have played to a 53.50 xGF%, and they have put up a record of 15-5-0. With that said, they were thoroughly outplayed in last weeks important matchups versus Boston which featured closer to a playoff vibe. That again makes some question where this teams heart is at, and a lot of people could care less that the Leafs have been on a good run of late if they are still going to be exposed when the going gets tough.
Leafs Defence Pairings
Rielly 44 – Lyubushkin 46
Brodie 78 – McCabe 22
Edmundson 20 – Liljegren 37
The battle for minutes on the back end the rest of the way will be something to watch, as well as the effectiveness of Lyubushkin and Edmundson on the blue-line. Its no secret that both featured dreadful underlying analytics prior to arriving in Toronto this season. With that said, they both bring qualities that have currently been missing from the Leafs blue line. If Sheldon Keefe can figure out ways to help them move the puck more effectively in the Leafs system, the additions could pay dividends.
Timothy Liljegren has the opposite problem, as his ability to drive possession meshes well with the Leafs top stars, however he has too often been exposed with leaky turnovers and soft defensive play recently.
For all of these reasons, I think it is currently somewhat difficult to project what the Leafs truly are post deadline, but for the time being they power-rate as the East’s fifth best team.
Philadelphia Flyers
No matter who’s in John Tortorella’s lineup, the Flyers have proven to be a tough matchup this season with their urgent work-rate in all areas of the ice. With Sean Walker traded away to Colorado, and Nick Seeler, Jamie Drysdale, and Rasmus Ristolainen on the IR their defensive core isn’t what it once was.
Cam York and Travis Sanheim should continue to be a legitimate top unit, but the other two pairings are question marks right now for sure. No matter who is manning the Flyers blue-line though, they will be well supported by a number of quality two-way forwards.  Over the last 20 games the Flyers xGA/60 of 2.99 ranks 10th best in the league. The eye test would tell you this is still one of the more irritating teams in the league, as Tortorella demands a professional work-rate in all areas from every skater on the team.
Tortorella will be serving the second of his two game suspension. It’s worth noting that at this point in the season, that should not hold handicapping value, as Tortorella’s assistant coaches will know how to operate as per usual.
Another question mark for the Flyers the rest of the way is whether or not Samuel Ersson and Felix Sandstrom will hold up in goal. Ersson has been solid to this point though, with a +3.8 GSAx and .899 save % across 38 appearances. He has been confirmed as the Flyers starter for this matchup.
Best Bets:
The prices for sides on this matchup look relatively fair. I lean with Toronto at -125, but do not quite have enough conviction for a bet. If I were to target something involving Toronto, it would be looking to get Jarnkrok to score anytime at a lofty number.
The calling card of the Flyers this year has been their attention to detail to defensively. They have remained in strong form of late in terms of chances allowed, especially if you wipe out their ugly performance Saturday in Tampa where they skated only five defenders. Ersson is a bit of a question mark in goal, but Philadelphia should still remain a far better than average side defensively moving forward.
The Leafs are not without their warts defensively, but overall they still have to be viewed as a better than average side on that front over the last two months. It is reasonable to expect them to keep a 24th rated Flyers offence somewhat under wraps, and I think we will see them looking to avoid big mistakes early on in this tough road atmosphere. Toronto’s offensive prowess obviously takes a hit with Mitch Marner out of the lineup, which should help the Flyers support Ersson.
The first period under 1.5 is priced at +105, which is my favourite bet from this matchup. That bet obviously correlates with betting the full game to under 6.5 as well, which is another solid option.
Best Bet: First Period Under 1.5 +105

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