bet365 NHL Odds, Preview: Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs (Dec. 30)

The Toronto Maple Leafs look to wrap up the calendar year on a high note, but face a tough challenge ahead, taking on the Carolina Hurricanes in the second half of a back-to-back. The game features the return of an old friend on the Carolina roster, and once again, the need to calm an unnerved fanbase after the previous night’s events. Let’s break down what’s at stake, both from the perspective of the game itself and the underlying markets.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes

TOR -110
CAR -110

This game is a pick ’em as of Saturday morning, with both teams sitting at -110.

Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds-110
Hurricanes Moneyline Odds-110
Puck Line oddsMaple Leafs +1.5 (-260), Hurricanes -1.5 (+210)
Total Goals line6.5 goals (over -105, under -115)
Time/DateDec. 30, 7:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: CBC, Sportsnet
Stream: Sportsnet+
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All odds courtesy of

About the Maple Leafs (17-9-6 SU, 9-24 ATS, 19-13 o/u)

Chaos reigned once again in Columbus last night, with the Leafs initially stumbling out of the gate against the Blue Jackets only to meet an unnerving conclusion. Mitch Marner got the scoring going just three minutes in by cleaning up a Morgan Rielly shot in front of the net, but was responded to seven minutes later by Cole Sillinger after Timothy Liljegren blew a tire behind the Toronto net. Auston Matthews restored Toronto’s lead with his league-best 29th goal of the season, creating a 2-1 score that more accurately reflected the 14-4 shot disparity.

Things began to get slippery in the second. While Toronto held control of the game, and even added to their buffer with goals from Nick Robertson, William Nylander, and John Tavares, Columbus pounced on any defensive miscue and opportunity they could find. Toronto held a 5-4 lead through 40, but with only 11 shots against to that point, four against was of concern. Columbus tied the game with six minutes remaining thanks to the Adam Fantilli goal we’ve been expecting throughout this season series, and in overtime, Johnny Gaudreau gave the Blue Jackets the season-series deciding victory.

Goaltending is the main concern coming out of this game, as Ilya Samsonov had another disappointing night in the office. While Toronto outshot Columbus by about 50%, Samsonov allowed six goals on 21 shots to see his season save percentage dip to 0.862, below replacement in any era. While the goals he was conceding weren’t all terrible, there’s a point where you need your goaltender to save their fair share of average shots, which he has far from delivered on this year. You can’t help but feel bad for him, and still have that tinge of hope knowing what he was last year, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for losing trust at this point, as he continues to fight through one of the worst seasons in NHL history.

About the Hurricanes (19-13-4 SU, 13-23 ATS, 18-17-1 o/u)

The Hurricanes, originally expected to be contenders for the Presidents Trophy (best regular season record), have not quite lived up to those expectations this year. Carolina has, against their reputation, found ways to fill the back of the net, but struggled to keep the puck out of their own, allowing the 11th-most goals in the league this year as of today.

Things are better of late, though, as the team has gone 5-1-3 since December 12th, picking up much-needed points. A win against the Leafs in this game would give them three wins in a row to close out 2023, something they’ve only done once this year.

Last Matchup

These two teams have yet to face each other this season, so one has to go back to March for their last matchup. While Toronto ultimately won the season series by a total of two games to one, the one was the last matchup, and with that, Carolina has the bragging rights coming in. It was a game the Hurricanes almost squandered twice, letting Toronto come back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, but just as Auston Matthews tied it a second time in the dying minutes, Sebastian Aho was able to regain the lead for good thirty seconds later, with Teuvo Teravainen adding an empty netter.

Projected Lineups

Toronto Maple LeafsCarolina Hurricanes
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nicholas Robertson – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Bobby McMann – David Kampf – Noah Gregor

Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe

Starting In Goal
Martin Jones
4-2-0, 2.85 GAA, 0.914 SV%
Andrei Svechnikov – Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen
Michael Bunting – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook – Jordan Staal – Seth Jarvis
Stefan Noesen – Jack Drury – Jesper Fast

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

Starting In Goal
Pyotr Kochetkov
8-7-3, 2.65 GAA, 0.898 SV%

For Leafs fans, there are two main talking points today when looking at the Hurricanes roster. The first one, of course, is jealousy at their blue line. Even as the “Abolish Defence” guy who believes in leaning into an offensive identity, I can respect a stacked unit when I see one, and Carolina’s remains among the gold standards in the NHL.

Up front, it’ll be Michael Bunting’s first game against the Leafs since signing with Carolina as a free agent this year. We’ll see if Big Mike can get under the Leafs’ skin after spending the previous couple of years as their teammate.

Michael Bunting (CAR) over 0.5 points


Key Injuries

Mark Giordano’s return to the Toronto lineup brings them one step closer to full health, or at least as full as they’ll be without including the players whose careers are in limbo. Ryan Reaves and Joseph Woll are the last two names of concern before Toronto can finally claim a full enough lineup.

The Hurricanes are relatively healthy. Former Maple Leafs netminder is their only absence on the IR right now, as he deals with a blood clotting issue and hopes to be back sometime in January.

  • The Leafs are 6-4 in their last ten games against the Hurricanes. The two teams have split that run of games on the puck line (5-5) and the goals over/under has been a dead heat as well (5 over, 5 under).
  • Carolina is 5-5 in their last 10 games, have gone 4-6 against the puck line, and have hit the total goals over six times.
  • Toronto are 4-6 both straight up and against the puck line in their last ten, but have hit the goals over seven times in that stretch.
  • Sebastian Aho, who picked up his 500th career point earlier this week, has been red hot of late. He’s put up six goals and eleven assists in his last ten games, including 12 (2G 10A) in his last five.
  • Brent Burns was once a player that you could expect an entire team’s offence to flow through. He’s still a contributor, but he hasn’t been that guy of late. His 21 shots over the last 10 games surprisingly only ties him for second with defensive compliment Jaccob Slavin, while Brady Skjei leads the Carolina blue line (and roster in general) with 28.
  • Auston Matthews and William Nylander continue their thermonuclear runs. Beneath them, though, Mitch Marner has 13 points in his last 10, Morgan Rielly has put up a quiet 10 points in that stretch, and John Tavares’ shot count still leads the team at 49.
  • A quiet, if long-shot producer is Jake McCabe, who has a goal and five assists in his last ten.

Wagers To Consider

  • Michael Bunting is going to be a focus player in this game, and he’s been pretty productive of late (1G 7A in his last 10 GP). I’d look at him getting a point, sitting at +120.
  • If you want to ride Willy Styles’ wild ride, you can get the Leafs to win, Nylander to clear four shots on goal, and to score 2+ points at +500, boosted from +450 as a Boosted Same game Parlay.
  • If you prefer the Hurricanes to win this one – which is my slight lean at the moment, admittedly, a boosted parlay of a Carolina moneyline win, a Sebastian Aho assist, and an Andrei Svechnikov goal pays out at +700, a healthy jump from it’s typical value of +575.
  • For a slightly more timid Carolina-based bet, I can see them testing Jones a lot while the Leafs are in this state of goaltending and defensive nerves. Some shot props might be worth keeping an eye on – Sebastian Aho’s -140 for 2.5 shots, for example, is well in line with his recent averages.