NHL Betting Preview (Feb. 17): Ducks vs. Maple Leafs Odds

The Toronto Maple Leafs will hit the road and begin a five-game Western Conference swing, starting with the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. This is an important stretch for the Leafs, especially in the crowded Eastern Conference playoff picture and without star defenceman Morgan Rielly who is serving a suspension.

After this, the Leafs will head to St. Louis on Monday, Arizona on Wednesday, Vegas on Thursday, and end the road trip on Saturday (a week away) in Colorado. They must start this road trip the right way, so let’s look at how they match up with the Ducks.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Ducks

TOR -270
ANA +220

The Maple Leafs are heavy favourites at -315, though that number has shrunk a fair bit over the past few hours.

Maple Leafs vs. Ducks odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds-270
Ducks Moneyline Odds+220
Puck Line oddsMaple Leafs -1.5 (-110), Ducks +1.5 (-110)
Total Goals line6.5 goals (over -115, under -105)
Time/DateFeb. 17, 7:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports (French)
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

All odds courtesy of

About the Maple Leafs (28-16-8 SU, 16-36 ATS, 27-23-2 O/U)

A complaint about the Leafs in the past is that they have been top-heavy. That unfortunately has not changed so far this year. William Nylander (68 points) and Auston Matthews (66 points) are in the top 10 in league scoring, so the big guns are at least carrying the load, but the depth scoring has been lacking.

Matthews leads the NHL in goals with 45, a half-dozen more than second-place Sam Reinhart (39). Morgan Rielly is enjoying a solid season with 36 assists and 43 points through 50 games, although he will miss this game due to suspension. Mitch Marner is also quietly having a solid season with 60 points. Past that, it is a mixture of disappointment.

John Tavares (15 goals, 40 points) has been largely flat. Matthew Knies (9 goals, 20 points) has had the struggles that most young players have despite getting solid minutes. Getting just 11 goals between middle-six guys like Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi has to be considered a major concern and disappointing after the fanfare around those players last summer.

All of that said, the Leafs are finding their stride. They have won their last two while going 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. The Leafs are firmly entrenched in the top wild-card spot in the East with 64 points. They aren’t safe by any means, however, especially with the Red Wings (60 points), Devils (58), Islanders (57), and Penguins (55) all breathing down their necks.

Injuries have been a major issue for the Leafs this year, particularly in goal. Joseph Woll and Martin Jones have both missed time at various intervals as the team has struggled to find decent play between the pipes. Losing defenceman John Klingberg for the year has also hurt the back end.

Despite criticism, this Maple Leafs group has shown the ability to fight through adversity. It might be a good thing for them to get into the playoffs as a wild card rather than one of the three teams from the Atlantic Division, giving them a chance to fly under the radar.

About the Ducks (19-32-2 SU, 28-25 ATS, 23-27-3 O/U)

No one had any illusions of a playoff run this year for the Ducks, but even so, the season has to be considered a disappointment for the Ducks. The signings of Alex Killorn and Radko Gudas were expected to provide veteran depth on both ends of the ice, but Killorn has been on the IR since the middle of January with a knee injury.

Up front, there have been little in the way of bright spots to mention. Frank Vatrano is having a solid year with 23 goals and 41 points, leading the team in both categories. However, he could be on the move before the trade deadline. Past that, they have just four double-digit goal scorers and their defensive depth is severely lacking.

There are a couple of bright spots, however. Center Mason McTavish is looking like he may be on the cusp of becoming one of the better two-way centers in the league. Top 2023 pick Leo Carlsson has also flashed potential despite playing with a group lacking in so many departments.

For the rest of the season, all of the attention paid to the Ducks will be on who might be shipped out at the trade deadline. Adam Henrique is one of the top veteran forwards available. The big name to watch will be Trevor Zegras. He was having a truly bad season (4 goals, 7 points in 20 games) before an ankle injury sidelined him. Moving on from Zegras would further underscore the shoddy prospect development the Ducks have had of late.

Last Matchup

These two teams have met just once so far in the 2023-24 season. That game was also in Anaheim, coming back on January 3. It was also a much tighter game than the Leafs could have hoped for from start to finish.

Frank Vatrano picked up Anaheim’s lone goal on the night, putting them up 1-0 midway through the second period. John Tavares, who has been struggling this season, tied things up with just over five minutes left in the third and – who else? – Auston Matthews stole the win for the Leafs in overtime.

Projected Lineups

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s Anaheim Ducks Lines
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – TBD – William Nylander
Pontus Holmberg – Max Domi – Nick Robertson
Noah Gregor – David Kampf – Bobby McMann

TJ Brodie – Timothy Liljegren
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Max Lajoie – William Lagesson

Starting In Goal
Martin Jones
9-7-1, 2.73 GAA, 0.908 SV%
Adam Henrique – Leo Carlsson – Ryan Strome
Frank Vatrano – Mason McTavish – Troy Terry
Max Jones – Isac Lundestrom – Jakob Silfverberg
Ross Johnston – Sam Carrick – Bo Groulx

Gustav Lindstrom – Cam Fowler
Urho Vaakanainen – Radko Gudas
Pavel Mintyukov – Ilya Lyubushkin

Starting In Goal
Lukas Dostal
8-13-1, 3.60 GAA, 0.900 SV%

The Maple Leafs look largely intact offensively, especially at the top. They need more out of the trio of Bertuzzi, Domi, and Robertson to be more formidable throughout the lineup. Defensively, the Leafs are getting the job done with a group of largely unheralded youngsters and solid veterans. Giordano may not play after it was revealed that his father recently passed away.

John Tavares will miss this game with a minor injury, per coach Sheldon Keefe.

For the Ducks, the lineup shows that the youngsters have taken over. Carlsson, McTavish, Terry, Jones, Vaakanainen, and Mintyukov are all at various stages in their development, so this is at least a valuable chance to get reps.

Mitch Marner over 1.5 points


Key Injuries

Calle Jarnkrok (hand) and Joseph Woll (ankle) are still a ways away from return, though Woll appears to be getting closer by the day. Conor Timmins was added to the regular injured reserve as well as he deals with a case of mononucleosis. Martin Jones is deemed day-to-day for now.

John Gibson is listed as day-to-day though there hasn’t been any news that he will miss the game against the Leafs. Aside from that, the long-term injuries to Alex Killorn and Trevor Zegras are the major issues the Ducks have had to deal with this year.

  • Despite being miserable against the puck line this year, the Leafs are hot in that regard of late. They have covered in 7 of 10 games, a nice break after failing to cover in four straight before that.
  • The Ducks are struggling offensively, and it shows in their over/under record. They have hit the under in four of five, following a stretch where they hit the over in five of seven
  • The Leafs are tied for 12th in the NHL in terms of over/under record. They have been streaky of late, going 5-4-1 against the over in their last 10 games.
  • Auston Matthews continues to dominate when it comes to putting the puck in the net. He has a goal in 7 of his last 10 games, including hattricks against Calgary back on January 18 and Philadelphia on Thursday.
  • If there is anyone having success on the Ducks, it is Frank Vatrano. He has been hot of late, picking up at least one point in four of five. He also has multi-point games in two of his last three.
  • Marner has quietly been on fire of late. He has had at least one point in 10 of 11 games, four of which have been multi-point efforts. In that stretch, Marner has tallied 5 goals and 9 assists.

Wagers To Consider

  • Though he may be the easy pick, Matthews as an anytime scorer (-125) and over 1.5 points (+140) are sound bets against a Ducks team that has struggled across the board all season.
  • Though they eked out a 2-1 overtime win the last time around, there is a lot to like about this matchup, especially given the Ducks record against the puck line. Take the Leafs -1.5 (-125) to begin the road trip on the right foot.
  • Go with another hot hand in Marner. He might not be a great bet to score but look for him to tally more than 1.5 points (+125), something he has done in 3 of his last 5 games.

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