NHL Betting Preview (March 16): Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs Odds

The Toronto Maple Leafs of the past month and change are as hot as they’ve been all season, but find themselves in the eye of a storm tonight. The Carolina Hurricanes are in town, and with reinforcements added at the trade deadline, look stronger than ever. As the two teams converge on Scotiabank Arena, let’s break down what’s at stake on Saturday night.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes

TOR +110
CAR -130

The Maple Leafs are light home underdogs, coming in at +110 on the moneyline. The line has shifted more towards Carolina overnight.

Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds+110
Hurricanes Moneyline Odds-130
Puck Line oddsMaple Leafs +1.5 (-225), Hurricanes -1.5 (+185)
Total Goals line6.0 goals (over -115, under -105)
Time/DateMarch 16, 7:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

All odds courtesy of

About the Maple Leafs (38-19-8 SU, 23-42 ATS, 34-29-2 o/u)

The Maple Leafs closed out a three-game road trip with a convincing 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, extending what’s been a pretty great tear for the team. Tyler Bertuzzi opened the scoring two minutes into the first period, and before the opening frame could end, Pontus Holmberg and Timothy Liljegren followed shortly behind him. Owen Tippett opened the Flyers’ account early in the second and the Flyers began to build up some momentum from there, but Toronto’s third-period push removed all doubt from there.

Auston Matthews scored this 55th of the season, William Nylander followed him just eight seconds later, and in a bizarre sequence that saw three Flyers lose their sticks, Matthew Knies made it 6-2 with eleven minutes remaining. Philadelphia scored a shorthanded goal in the dying minutes after some debate between benches as to who it was code-friendly for Toronto to put out during a blowout, but it was as garbage time as they come.

Suddenly, the Leafs are 12-3-0 in their last 15 games, with the only losses coming against the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights and the ever-powerful Bruins. This would probably go over better if Boston wasn’t a projected playoff opponent, but it still beats the alternative either way.

About the Hurricanes (40-20-6 SU, 28-38 ATS, 27-38-1 o/u)

There may be no greater of an Odd Couple situation in the NHL this year than the union of a Core Capital and a Core Penguin from their teams’ Stanley Cup pushes between 2016 and 2018. Nevertheless, the Hurricanes decided they were swinging hard at the deadline, and had both the most expensive splash in acquiring Jake Guentzel from Pittsburgh, and a reclamation swing in taking in Evgeny Kuznetsov from the Capitals.

Both have required some adjustments, but the rivals-come-linemates on Carolina’s second line each picked up their first points in Raleigh on Thursday, contributing to a 4-0 shutout of the Florida Panthers that could have Presidents Trophy implications. It was business as usual for a Preds team that has gone 22-7-2 since Christmas. Needless to say, they’ll be a threat tonight as well.

Last Matchup

The Maple Leafs and Hurricanes last faced each other on December 30th, in what was a tightly contested affair. Former Toronto (and since Pittsburgh) forward Michael Bunting opened up the score on a Carolina powerplay just two minutes into the first period, and Seth Jarvis doubled up the Canes’ lead in the second with his own extra-man marker. Timothy Liljegren cut the lead in half with his first of the year in the third period, but Sebastian Aho’s empty netter iced it. Well, iced the victory at least – Nick Robertson added a bit of a pity goal with ten seconds remaining to keep the margin close.

Projected Lineups

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s Carolina Hurricanes Lines
Tyler Bertuzzi – Auston Matthews – Pontus Holmberg
Bobby McMann – Max Domi – William Nylander
Matthew Knies – John Tavares – Nick Robertson
Pontus Holmberg – Connor Dewar – Noah Gregor

TJ Brodie – Jake McCabe
Morgan Rielly – Ilya Lyubushkin
Joel Edmundson – Timothy Liljegren

Starting In Goal
Ilya Samsonov*
18-5-6, 3.06 GAA, 0.889 SV%
Andrei Svechnikov – Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen
Jake Guentzel – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook – Jordan Staal – Seth Jarvis
Stefan Noesen – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Jesper Fast

Jaccob Slavin – Brent Burns
Brady Skjei – Brett Pesce
Dmitry Orlov – Jalen Chatfield

Starting In Goal
Frederik Andersen
7-1-0, 2.19 GAA, 0.913 SV%

We might see some shift in the Leafs’ lineup ahead of puck drop. Usually, when a fourth-line or bottom-pair player is in a more prominent spot where an injured player was previously, it means it’s a minor injury and that player will be back for the game. We suspect that will be the case with Connor Timmins being in Ilya Lyubushkin’s spot, but since we know Calle Jarnkrok is out, Pontus Holmberg’s spot at the top seems interesting. Maybe he stays there, or maybe we get some clarity on Mitch Marner.

The Hurricanes are more or less at full capacity. With their deadline acquisitions plugged in, that’s a fun-looking team – at least until you have to face them.

NOTE*: Ilya Samsonov appeared to be in discomfort after a save at Leafs morning skate, so his status is also up in the air until further notice.

Sebastian Aho (CAR) to score a goal


Key Injuries

The Maple Leafs gave an update on Mitch Marner before their win on Thursday, revealing that his injury the week prior was a “minor” high ankle sprain. We don’t have a timeline on what that means just yet. Calle Jarnkrok also suffered another injury on Thursday and is expected to be week-to-week.

For the Hurricanes, Jack Drury is out “for a while” with a lower-body injury suffered last week.

  • The Leafs and Hurricanes are an even 5-5 against each other in their last ten games, dating back to April 2019. That stretch is also split 5-5 against the puck line, giving Toronto bettors a 0.45 unit advantage.
  • Oh, and if you haven’t had enough of that those even splits, the total goals line those ten games has also landed over five times, and under five times.
  • The Maple Leafs are 7-3 in their last ten games, and 4-6 against the puck line. They’ve split the total goals line 5-5 across those ten games. Shorter-term, one thing worth keeping an eye on is that they’re winless against the puck line in their last three home games.
  • The Hurricanes, on the other hand, are 6-4 straight up in their last ten games. Against the puck line, they’re 5-5, though that improves to 4-1 in their last five. Carolina’s recent games have been low-scoring, clearing the total goals over just twice in their last ten.
  • Carolina’s most productive players of late are the wingers on their top line, in Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen. Svecchnikov has a team-leading five goals and six assists in Carolina’s last ten games. Teravainen has four goals and a team-leading seven assists.
  • Martin Necas leads the Hurricanes in shots on goal in their last ten games, with 38. 21 of those have come in Carolina’s last five games.
  • Until Thursday night, it had been a pretty quiet offensive stretch for the Maple Leafs. William Nylander is their only point-per-game player over their last ten games, with four goals and eight assists. Surprisingly, it’s not Auston Matthews with the most goals in that ten-game stretch, but Tyler Bertuzzi, who has six.

Wagers To Consider

  • Today’s Auston Matthews watch places him at -115 to score tonight. That’s a little more value than last game, though the expectation for goals across the field is lower in this one.
  • As mentioned above, Martin Necas is pouring pucks on net right now. His shots on goal line is set at 2.5 at a price of -120. Given that he’s cleared the mark 10 times in 11 games, this is one to keep an eye on.
  • Sebastian Aho had a goal and two assists the last time these two teams faced each other, and a goal and assist the time before that. If you like him to keep that going, he’s +160 for an anytime goal.
  • Normally I say to look to the puck line when the Leafs land as underdogs, but tonight might not be the night for that. They aren’t “playing up” to their opponents the same way as they often do, and while 6-4 against the puck line in their last ten is an advantage, it’s not a significant one to consider against an opponent that they’ve been a coin-toss against. If you’re going for the game result, stick to the money line. I lean towards a Canes win here, but stranger things have happened.

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