NHL Betting Preview (Feb 24): Avalanche vs. Maple Leafs Odds

It’s a battle of two Hart Trophy candidates and their high-flying teams tonight, as Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs head to Ball Arena to take on Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche. Toronto is the hottest they’ve been all year, but the Avs will provide them a tough test as one of the league’s most dangerous teams when at their best.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Avalanche

TOR +100
COL -120

Toronto are rare road underdogs, coming in at +100 on the moneyline with no overnight movement.

Maple Leafs vs. Avalanche odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds+100
Avalanche Moneyline Odds-120
Puck Line oddsMaple Leafs +1.5 (-230), Avalanche -1.5 (+190)
Total Goals line6.5 goals (over -140, under +120)
Time/DateFeb. 24, 7:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports (French)
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

All odds courtesy of

About the Maple Leafs (32-16-8 SU, 19-37 ATS, 30-24-2 o/u)

The Maple Leafs had a statement win on Thursday, extending their season-best streak to six in a row in Las Vegas. Despite taking on the Vegas Golden Knights in the second half of a back-to-back, they exploded out of the gate, scoring four goals in the first sixteen minutes of action, chasing Adin Hill out of the net after the third. Interestingly, a lot of the action came from the depth talent, with the likes of David Kampf, Max Domi, and Pontus Lindholm doing a lot of the work.

The big names definitely poked around though, with Mitch Marner extending his multi-assist game streak, John Tavares grabbing his 17th goal of the year, and Auston Matthews showing up fashionably late, potting his 52nd of the year to quickly rid the Golden Knights of any thoughts of a comeback in the third period, capping off a 7-3 victory over the defending champs.

The game also saw the return of Morgan Rielly, who didn’t immediately return to first-pair minutes, instead being paired with William Lagesson. So far, the new arrangement looks pretty good, and it would be nice to see the Leafs stick with it for a bit.

About the Avalanche (35-18-5 SU, 27-31 ATS, 34-22-2 o/u)

Few teams are scarier at their best than the Colorado Avalanche, though they haven’t quite been at their best lately. In February, Colorado have posted a 3- 4-2 record, including a four-game losing streak to start the month. Things have been a bit better in their last five games, but progress stepped back in the wrong direction on Thursday, as they lost 2-1 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings. Nathan MacKinnon opened the scoring in the second period, but his goal was the only offence the team was able to muster, as Dylan Larkin tied the game up with eight minutes to go, and Patrick Kane gave Detroit the win in the extra frame.

Colorado is a different beast at home, and they’ll hope that the trend continues tonight. Their last loss at home was on January 6th against Florida, and it’s their only loss in their last fourteen home games. Notably, MacKinnon has picked up a point in every home game so far this year.

Last Matchup

These two teams last faced off just a little over a month ago, with Toronto hosting the festivities at Scotiabank Arena. While the Maple Leafs took an early 3-0 lead in the first period, the Avalanche took over the back 40 minutes, cutting the lead to one in the second before Andrew Cogliano, Nathan MacKinnon, and Ross Colton completed the 5-3 comeback.

Projected Lineups

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s Colorado Avalanche Lines
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – Max Domi – William Nylander
Bobby McMann – John Tavares – Nick Robertson
Pontus Holmberg – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves

T.J Brodie – Timothy Liljegren
Morgan Rielly – William Lagesson
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe

Starting In Goal
Ilya Samsonov
13-4-6, 3.19 GAA, 0.882 SV%
Jonathan Drouin – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Miles Wood – Ross Colton – Logan O’Connor
Artturi Lehkonen – Ryan Johansen – Zach Parise
Kurtis MacDermid – Chris Wagner – Joel Kiviranta

Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Samuel Girardi – Josh Manson
Jack Johnson – Bowen Byram

Starting In Goal
Alexandar Georgiev
30-13-3, 2.88 GAA, 0.899 SV%

Both teams are running at pretty close to full capacity at the moment, and are expected to run back more or less the same lineups as they ran in their last games. There is a chance that Andrew Cogliano of Colorado, once the league’s premier ironman, will miss tonight’s game with an illness.

Auston Matthews to score a goal


Key Injuries

The Leafs don’t have much changing on the injury front, though Joseph Woll took another step to recovery yesterday, playing an excellent first game back with the Toronto Marlies against the Laval Rocket. With Marshall Rifai being loaned back to the Marlies, it seems like Mark Giordano could come back from his personal leave soon.

For Colorado, they have no imminent injuries, though for those who aren’t up to date with the Avs, don’t expect Valeri Nichushkin (in the Player Assistant Program), Gabriel Landeskog (still recovering from a very long-term knee injury), or Pavel Francouz (out for the remainder of the season).

  • The Avalanche have won the last two meetings between these two teams, and are 6-4 in the last ten, dating back to January 2018. The puck line is split at 5-5, and games tend to go above the total goals line, hitting the over in seven of ten.
  • The Leafs are scorching in both regular and betting terms. They’re 8-2 in their last ten straight-up, 6-4 against the puck line amidst a terrible season in that regard, and have hit the total goals over six times in that stretch. In their last five games, they’re 5-0, 4-1, and 4-1 in those three categories respectively.
  • Colorado are in a slight rut at the moment, going 4-6 in their last ten, and 3-7 against the puck line. Home ice is much kinder to them though – they’ve gone 9-1 in their last ten at Ball Arena, and 6-4 against the puck line.
  • On Colorado’s end, we have the first of the Hart Threats in Nathan MacKinnon. He leads the team in scoring over the last ten games, with four goals and seven assists, which is low for him. He’s also had a whopping 59 shots on goal.
  • On Toronto’s end, it’s the best finisher in the free world in Auston Matthews leading the charge. He’s got 13 (!!) goals in his last ten games, paired with six assists for 19 points. He’s taken 43 shots in that span. Not to be outdone is Mitch Marner, who has two goals and 17 (!!) assists in his last ten games.
  • Kind of quiet on Colorado’s end is their super-pair of Devon Toews and Cale Makar. Not to poke the bear, but two goals and an assist for each of them in Colorado’s last ten games is less than you’d typically expect.

Wagers To Consider

  • Bet365 is offering a Matthews-laden Same Game Parlay, featuring him taking 4+ shots on goal, scoring a goal, and the Leafs scoring over 3.5 goals. If that interests you, it’s at +260, up from +240. If you’re just curious about the usual anytime watch for the sniper, he’s at -140 to score.
  • Nathan MacKinnon over 4.5 shots on goal is about as enticing as anyone is going to be at that line. He’s -130 to hit the mark.
  • I do think that the Toews-Makar pair is overdue to get back on track, and who knows if the above paragraph was just the jinx they needed. Toews is +120 to get a point, and Makar is +170 to get two. A Makar powerplay point at +125 might be another pathway to consider as well.
  • John Tavares is catching his groove again and has nine points in his last ten games. His points line still sits at 0.5 at a decently-valued -130, which could be enticing as well.

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