The All-Canadian division rages on Friday evening as the Oilers will look to sweep the Maple leafs in a mini two-game set in Toronto.
Wednesday night might have been a disappointing game for the fans expecting an exciting affair between two of the game’s young stars, Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews – as both were relatively quiet. It was about as dull of an affair as could be expected, as both teams relied heavily on defensive play and structure.
In the end, the Oilers’ suffocated Toronto’s supposedly potent attack, escaping with a 3-1 victory to get their season back on track.
Edmonton is a better team than they showed to begin their campaign, and look for the Oilers to continue that momentum Friday evening in Toronto. Connor McDavid remains the sport’s elite talent, and following a quiet outing Wednesday, he’ll be keen to put on a show in his hometown rink. It’s also expected that Edmonton will get James Neal back from injury, adding a real boost to their attacking depth up front.
For the Leafs, it’s been a pretty disastrous start after another disappointing off-season. They’ve lost three of their top-9 forwards to injury in Joe Thornton, Nick Robertson, and now star centre – Auston Matthews. This isn’t a team with great offensive depth to begin with, and without Matthews, stopping McDavid becomes a near impossibility. Their offense isn’t clicking and their goaltending is consistently second-best. Despite entering as the division favourites, the Leafs seem nowhere near where they’re supposed to be right now.
The goaltending matchup is slated to be the same as Wednesday evening, as Mikko Koskinen will take on Freddie Andersen of the Leafs.
It’s been a red-hot start for myself betting the pucks this season, so continue reading on beneath the posted odds as we’ll explain one of our biggest edges of the season and who we’re liking to get the victory on Friday night in this all-Canadian clash.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Odds:
Edmonton Oilers (+130)
Toronto Maple Leafs (-150)
Over 6.5 (-105)
Under 6.5 (-115)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Edmonton Oilers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick:
To begin, this line is pretty comical, especially given the fact that the Leafs’ star talent in Auston Matthews is sitting this one out with upper-body soreness. If I am reading the market correctly, it rarely shifted and accounted for Matthews being out, and while that still could happen – that’s a big miscalculation.
Matthews is the Leafs’ driving force. He plays in all key situations, and has really upped his defensive game this season. His play away from the puck in 2021 has been thorough and disciplined, and he’s a huge reason why McDavid struggled to generate many chances on Wednesday evening when these teams first met.
As a result, don’t expect a very successful outing from a Leafs’ team that was already struggling mightily to generate chances at 5-on-5 even with Matthews in the lineup. On Friday night, they won’t possess the puck as much, and will expect to see a ton of Connor McDavid roaming around the Scotiabank Arena ice relatively unchecked. The Leafs just don’t have the forward depth.
Goaltending also remains a big concern for the Leafs, as it’s likely fair to suggest that they’ve had the second-best goalie in all but one contest this season. While Andersen has been better of late, he’s shown an inability to make big saves or steal results. Toronto will need that tonight, and it’s an awfully big gamble to put our faith in the fading Danish netminder.
Though I am not sure why the line hasn’t moved more already, expect it to shade toward the Oilers throughout the day and into the evening. Edmonton’s two talents should dominate the Leafs’ depleted forwards, and secure a routine road victory for their second-straight win in Toronto. Grab the value as soon as you can with the Oilers!